Skip to main content

Full text of "East by west"

See other formats

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http : //books . google . com/ 

Digitized by 



Digitized by CjOOQ^ 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Digitizes by VjOOQIC 




VOL. I. 



iPtibli»f)tt» in ^rtinarg to Snr ilHajestg tfje ©ueen, 


iAU i'iffhtti retterved.) 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Cr4Lo-a +5tO%.^3 


JtiL 1 1914 




Digitized by VjOOQIC 





London, Aou. l«84. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


L **Off Sandy Hook" ... ... ... 1 

11. New York City ... ... ... 21 

III. Some Western Towns ... ... 35 

IV. Life and Death in the Far West 50 
V. In the Kooky Mountains ... ... 66 

VI. A Mining Camp in the Kocky Mountains 78 

VII. The City of the Saints ... ... 92 

VIII. The Mormon President at Home ... 108 

IX. By the Golden Gate ... ... 117 

X. The Labour Question ... ... 133 

XI. On the Kailway Cars ... ... 148 

XII. The Heathen Chinee ... ... 163 

XIII. Some Japanese Traits ... ... 182 

XIV. Fete Day at Asakusa ... ... 203 

XV. The Mikado's Birthday Fete ... ... 210 

XVI. Across Country in Jinrikishas ... 234 

XVII. The Tombs of the Shoguns ... ... 256 

XVIII. KoADsiDE and Kiver ... ... 270 

XIX, A Japanese Theatre ... ... ... 286 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 




There are few phrases in the English language 
more familiar than "Off Sandy Hook/' It is 
a standing head-line in most English news- 
papers ; and the fact recorded in the Court 
Circular that " the Queen walked out yester- 
day '' is not a more frequently reiterated piece 
of information than that yesterday such-and- 
such great steamers were " off Sandy Hook." 
Like many other familiar phrases, it conveys 
to the mind no definite idea of the thing itself. 
It is only in the mighty leisure of a voyage 
across the Atlantic that one has time to 
formulate the question, What is Sandy Hook ? 
"Why Eookery?" as Miss Betsy Trotwood 
sharply asked David Copperfield when he 

VOL. I. 1 

Digitized by VjOOQi€ 


mentioned the postal address of the step-pater- 
nal home. Is Sandy Hook a curved instru- 
ment with which a great and friendly nation 
seizes incoming ships and gives them a pull 
on to New York after ascertaining the precise 
quality of the assisted emigrants on board? 
Is it a hook at all, and is it in any obtrusive 
way sandy ? 

The questions must remain unsolved as far 
as this record is concerned, for when we passed 
Sandy Hook it was midnight, and only two 
beacons indicated the world-famed spot. It 
was a magnificent night, with the moonKght 
shining over a smooth and glassy sea. About 
half-past eleven, when most of the passengers 
had retired to their state-rooms, the stillness 
was broken by strains of music coming nearer 
and nearer. Presently a tug bore down upon 
us, and an excited crowd began to call on 
" Brown ! " We had on board an inoffensive 
gentleman of that name travelling with his 
wife and young daughter. I now learned, 
with the feeling of regret that fills the mind 
when one finds too late he has been enter- 
taining angels unawares, that Mr. Brown was 
the State printer of New York, and that this 
was the Democratic party who had worked 
ungrudgingly to obtain for him the ofl&ce, and 
now welcomed his return from European 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


travel. They had come to bear Mr. Brown 
off, an undertaking not without difficulty, 
seeing that we had not yet passed quarantine. 

But the Democratic party of New York 
when it puts its hand to the plough makes its 
farrow straight and deep. It had obtained a 
special permit from the ordinarily inflexible 
city authorities to allow Mr. Brown, Mrs. 
Brown, and Miss Brown, forthwith to land in 
case there were no sickness on board the 
Britannic. They engaged a doctor at a special 
fee to visit the ship and give the necessary cer- 
tificate ; and so with the band playing '* Home, 
Sweet Hom,e," the Democratic party madly 
cheering, and violently shaking hands with the 
rescued passengers, the tug faded out of sight 
over the moonlit sea, and we were bereft of 

Fancy Mr. Hansard, who prints our ParUa- 
mentary Keports, or one of the firm of Spottis- 
woode, the Queen's printers, coming home 
from a trip to Antwerp or Australia, and either 
the Liberal party or the Conservative party 
running down to Gravesend with a string 
band to bear him home in triumph! I am 
afraid there is no doubt that, by comparison, 
we as a nation are lethargic in politics. 

We were over a thousand souls on board 
the Britannic^ a fearful charge for the under- 
Digitized by VjOOQIC 


taking of any one man. For the first few 
days it weighed heavily on the spirits of our 
captain, and left him no time for those frivoli- 
ties by which some captains of big passenger 
ships round off the sharp edge of official duty. 
No little tea-parties in the captain's room, no 
attentions to the fair, no chatting with the 
brave, and no assumption at the table of the 
cheery attitude of host. Till we were in mid- 
Atlantic the captain's place at the head of the 
table was, in truth, rarely filled, except in the 
sense that Banquo sometimes sat at the ban- 
quetting board. Occasionally the passengers at 
dinner became aware of the presence of a tall 
figure carefully wrapped up, standing by the 
doorway surveying the festive scene. Some- 
times It sat in the chair at the head of the 
captain's table, gloomily ate a dish, and disap- 
peared. At others It shook its head, and 
stalked forth, wondering how two hundred men 
and women could eat and drink when the wind 
was south-east by east-half-east, an^ at any 
moment something might happen at the lee 

This is our captain as he appears " when 
the stormy winds do blow " and we are near 
land, in the track of ships and of danger. 
But when fine weather comes he thaws out, 
and though always preserving the seK-re- 

Digitizedby VjOOQIC 

"off sandy hook/ 5 

corded characteristic of the Duke of Wel- 
lington, inasmuch as he '^ has no small-talk/' 
proves himseK a pleasant gentleman, as popular 
with the passengers as he is with the more 
critical company of officers and crew. 

Of our precious freight of a thousand souls, 
only a Uttle over two hundred are saloon pas- 
sengers. The day before we left Liverpool, the 
City of Borne sailed on the same voyage, having 
on board 464 saloon passengers. That means 
an immense amount of discomfort through all 
stages of the day — overcrowded decks, a 
scramble in the ladies* saloon, a block in the 
smoking-room, and two courses of meals, one 
half waiting while the other half breakfasts, 
lunches, and dines. It is a great temptation 
to shipowners to make hay while the sun 
shines, and in the American passenger depart- 
ment it shines pretty hotly from April to 
September. On the day the Britannic left the 
Mersey, with her modest complement of 214 
saloon passengers, the White Star Company 
had upon their books applications for an 
additional 900 passages. But the company 
have a rule, which is kept at all costs. The 
spacious dining-room will seat 220 guests, 
each having his or her appointed armchair 
and cubic measurement of table room. Ac- 
commodation elsewhere being in proportion, 
there is no possibility of overcrowding. 

Digitized by 



I heard a good story of two well-known 
Americans. They had been accustomed to 
visit Europe in May, and had competed with 
each other for the best berths on the Germanic 
or Britannic. A having been done by B 
two years in succession, thought he would be 
all right in 1884. Accordingly, in March, 
1883, he wrote engaging the captain's room 
and three of the best state-rooms for the 
first voyage of the Germanic in May, 1884. 
Flushed with the certainty of triumph, he 
incautiously mentioned the circumstance to 
a friend. Pleased with this stroke of real 
smartness, the friend spread the story, which 
came to the ears of B, who immediately 
cabled to Liverpool to secure for himself 
^*the captain's room and three best state 
rooms on the Germanic's first voyage out 
from New York, in May, 1884." When in 
due course A's letter arrived by 'mail, an 
answer was sent by return expressing profound 
regret that the berths named had been already 
allotted. This is the simple record of a 
business transaction, and I have seen both the 
telegram and the letter. 

There are very few English among the 
saloon passengers, only a score as far as I 
can count; one a member of the House of 
Commons, who, whilst doubtful as to the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

''off sandy hook." 

future leadership of his party, is pretty certain 
the Bankruptcy Bill will fail. There are two 
Italians who seat themselves outside the 
saloon, picturesquely draped in party-coloured 
silk rugs, and look unutterable woe. There 
are many Germans and one Swede. There is 
a pretty Servian and a grim Montenegrin, 
who have settled one phase of the Eastern 
Question by marrying each other. They have 
brought with them a middle-aged servitor, 
who, if his tact were equal to his devotion, 
would be invaluable. The pretty Servian sits 
for the most part on deck, her fair face 
standing even the cruel test of sea-sickness. 
The one conviction deeply rooted in the mind 
of the middle-aged retainer is that if madame 
will only eat, all will be well. He is always 
turning up with trays of refreshment, chiefly 
of a fatty substantial kind. He has tried 
these himself and is well and happy. Why 
should not madame try them ? 

By a providential arrangement, madame 
is spared sight of nearly fifty per cent, of the 
viands, owing to their premature dispersal over 
the deck. As soon as the faithful servitor 
reaches the deck by the companion way, his 
eyes search out the object of his devotion, and 
his face lights up with a knowing smile. But 
a middle-aged servitor cannot fix his eyes on 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


his iady's face and at the same time see the 
legs of projecting chairs, or be prepared for a 
sudden lurch of the ship. Over he goes, viands 
and all, and thus accident blasts the fruition 
of hope. 

This has come to pass so frequently that 
the approach of the middle-aged servitor with 
the inevitable plate of meat has come to be 
the signal for a general gathering up of skirts, 
and his passage is watched with an anxiety 
that could not be excelled by a crowd watch- 
ing Blondin wheel a barrow across a tight- 
rope. But he sees and knows nothing of this, 
his eyes being always fixed on the loved face, 
and his mind in a tremor of delicious anticipa- 
tion of her delight when she discovers that 
under the metal plate-cover he has a pork 
chop. Sometimes virtue is its own reward. 
Having in despair one day brought up an ice- 
cream, and this, too, being gently but wearily 
declined, he publicly ate it, with many signs 
and gestures of immense satisfaction, a little 
accentuated by the facial contortions that 
follow upon incautiously eating ice in large 

Of all nationalities, Americans vastly pre- 
dominate, coming home singly or in families, 
having ^* done Europe." With Americans of 
the present generation European travel is a 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

"off sandy hook. 

business undertaking, seriously gone into, 
without too carefully counting the cost, but 
with fixed resolve to have the money's worth. 
Four months is the correct time to take, and 
between May and September the American 
leaves untrodden few notable spots, whether 
on the Continent or Great Britain. He, as 
it were, takes a series of "Half-Hours with Our 
Best Cities." The sailing of the mail steamers 
from Queenstown gives Americans an oppor- 
tunity of seeing Ireland, which they are not 
slow to avail themselves of. Many cross over 
some days before the steamer starts, and 
having seen Dublin, the Phoenix Park, the 
Giant's Causeway, the Lakes of Killamey, and 
the Blarney Stone, contentedly step on board 
at Queenstown humming *^ Nunc Dimittis." 
Short of making this special tour, they avail 
themselves to the fullest extent of the oppor- 
tunities of seeing show-places afforded by the 
detention of the mail steamer at Queenstown. 
^^ Yes, I guess I did pretty well," a young 
man from Troy said in the smoking-room on 
the night of sailing from Queenstown. " I 
took the boat to Cork ; saw Queenstown 
Sarbour; took train to Blarney, went over 
the castle, and kissed the stone ; came back 
to Cork, and did the Exhibition ; took an out- 
side car, drove all over the city, and whilst 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


we were waiting for the mails to be put aboard 
bought a caxved oak walking-stick and a 

This seemed pretty well for a chance flying 
visit ; but there was a discontented tone in 
the young man's -voice and a look in his face 
that indicated a suspicion there was some- 
thing he had omitted. I gathered from wide 
conversation among these frank and hearty 
people that for them the chief attractions in 
England are the Tower of London, the city 
of Chester, Westminster Abbey, Shakespeare's 
Tomb, and the Eoyal Stables. 

Amongst the sights of Queenstown not 
entered in any recognized guide book, what 
moved the Americans most was the process 
of getting the Royal mails on board the tender. 
The arrangements for the transmission of the 
mails are in the same primitive condition 
they were when the mails first went by the 
Queenstown route. Possibly things go all 
right up to Cork, but thereafter follow arrange- 
ments that would be incredible except from 
the lips of an eye-witness. The distance from 
Cork to Queenstown by the direct line is 
fifteen miles, which in the case of the Eoyal 
mail would be covered in as many minutes by 
the English Midland or Great Western Rail- 
way. The Irish train carrying the mails, with 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


a colossal steamer and a thousand passengers 
impatiently awaiting them, stops at nearly 
every station on the way down, and arrives 
breathless and puffing in thirty-five minutes. 

Then the screaming part of the farce 
begins. Instead of swift well-horsed mail- 
carts, that would cover the intervening space 
between the railway station and the wharf in 
a few minutes, a melancholy procession of 
heavy one-horse carts are backed in, and when 
loaded leisurely meander down to the wharf. 
As the yard and entrance admit of only one 
cart at a time, an empty one has to be cleared 
out before a fall one is brought up. A gang 
of about a dozen men are ready to shoulder 
the sacks and trot off with them to the tender, 
a force sufficiently strong. But there is only 
one man on the cart to place the sacks on the 
men's shoulders, and the stream is constantly 
dammed, three or four men regularly waiting 
till they can be loaded. It seems so obvious 
a thing to take off one of the gang of porters 
and put him on the cart to help to load, that 
it is presumable the step is not taken only 
because such increase of expedition would be 
out of keeping with the general arrangements. 

When, as happened on the day we sailed, 
the Australian and New Zealand mails swell 
the consignment up to nearly four hundred 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


sacks, a delay ensues equal to a considerable 
money value. An American of a statistical 
turn of mind calculated that if the loss in the 
value of time to the owners of the Britannic^ 
to the consignees of freight, and to the thou- 
sand passengers were added together, it would 
amount to a sum sufficient to pay the cost of 
telegraphing all the letters in the mail bags. 
That is a calculation evidently made upon 
imperfect data, by a man deeply moved at this 
evidence of the ineptitude of a played-out 
nation. But the amount of mere money loss 
would be sufficient in a year to cover any 
reasonable expenditure upon obvious ways of 

In packing up for a long journey the ques- 
tion of books presents itself with persistency. 
But books take up much room, and weigh 
heavy. Moreover, it is well known that in 
the United States you can buy, at prices 
varying from sevenpence-halfpenny to ten- 
pence, the choicest works of modern English 
literature. It is not without some feeling of 
shamefacedness that one purchases at this 
rate the works of dear friends, knowing that 
they are being robbed of their dues. But 
what would you ? When you go to Kome 
you must do as the Eomans do, and similarly 
in the United States, soothed by the certainty 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

"off sandy hook." 13 

that a great and enlightened people would not 
systematically pursue a particular practice if 
it were actually dishonest. With this pro- 
spect at an early stage of the journey of an 
unlimited supply of books in cheap and port- 
able form, it seems sufficient if one could take 
from home a compendious little volume with 
something in it for all possible emergencies. 

This is to be found in " English as She is 
Spoke," that precious volume with which 
Senor Pedro Carolino has dowered the world. 
Turning up the page where instructions are 
given " For embarking one's self," I find the 
hints brief, but to the point. 

" Don't you fear the privateers ? " asks the 
inquiring mind. 

" I jest of them," answers the dauntless 
traveller. " My vessel is armed in man of 
war. I have a vigilant and courageous 
equipage, and the ammunitions don't want 
me its." 

'^ Never have you not done wreck? " the 
inquirer proceeds, determined to make his 
friend as uncomfortable as possible on starting. 

" That it has arrived me twice ; " and here 
the conversation ends, it being plainly impos- 
sible to flutter this calm, courageous soul. 

There is, however, one danger of the 
deep not here alluded to, which I have 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


found in the realization more terrible than 
pirates, storm, or fog. This is the presence 
of an infant of tender years in an adjoin- 
ing state-room. That a passenger should 
chance to be thus situated is not a matter of 
great surprise, nor would it in ordinary cir- 
cumstances be one of just complaint. The 
ship is swarming with children, from infants 
in arms to a lusty contingent who when the 
deck is wet, as not infrequently happens, take 
possession of our chairs and run them up and 
down the slippery boards. It seems to be 
the correct thing for American infants to be 
teethed on the Atlantic or weaned on a White 
Star Liner. 

During the first days of the voyage I 
looked for a sensible diminution of numbers 
among the elder children owing to natural 
causes. The boundless hospitality of the 
ship concentrates itself in a succession ol 
mighty efforts at half-past seven in the morn- 
ing, at noon, and at five o'clock to fill these 
children up. To see them at breakfast, dinner, 
or tea it would reasonably be supposed that 
the effort would be more than successful. But 
ten minutes after any meal you shall behold a 
cluster of small boys and girls at the foot of 
the staircase wheedling the second steward, a 
man of infinite, if mistaken, kindness, into 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


giving them handfuls of gingerbread, pocket- 
Ms of nuts, or plates loaded -witli a dubious 
confection highly popular in this community 
under the name of Eccles cakes. 

I never pass this ever-changing group at 
the foot of the staircase without apprehension 
of coming in contact with fragments of a 
burst boy or an exploded girl. But nothing 
ever happens of a fatal kind. They eat all 
day, sleep all night, and turn up on deck early 
in the mortiing to " skate the chairs," which, 
in addition to running the risk of breaking 
them, has the recommendation of waking up 
any one asleep in the berths below. 

These are general blessings diffused 
throughout the ship's company. My par- 
ticular boon is something over and above, 
a special addition to the common lot. My 
baby never leaves the state-room to go on 
deck. Sometimes in the dead unhappy night 
I find it hard to resist the wish that it were 
otherwise. One might volunteer to take him 
for awhile from the wearied nurse's arms, 
show him over the side of the vessel the wild 
joy of the Atlantic waves, and then — who 
knows ? A babe is never safe in inexperienced 
hands, and on the following night an un- 
wonted peace might brood over one quarter 
of the ship. 'This terrible infant is not only 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


always in his cabin, but is always wailing, 
after all not the most serious part of the 
infliction. His entourage is German, and 
every one who has met Germans travelling 
is painfully aware of their vocal pecuhari- 
ties. I remember one quiet autumn evening 
sitting on the terrace of an hotel at Baveno. 
Far away across the broad Lago Maggiore 
shone the white walls of Pallanza, with its big 
hotel. Suddenly the stillness was broken by 
a murmur, as of a distant multitude engaged 
in deadly conflict. 

" What's that ? " I asked my companion, 
** an Smeute? " 

**0h no," he answered carelessly, 
" they've finished dinner at the hotel over 
there, and the Germans have come out on 
the terrace for a little friendly conversation." 

Pallanza has come alongside Baveno now, 
and sometimes when the family are conversing 
there is a difficulty in hearing the shriU wail 
of the infant. But only then. 

Two or three Sessions ago a question was 
raised in the House of Commons as to the 
steerage accommodation in Atlantic steamers 
outward bound. Statements were made, pur- 
portiQg to be the result of personal experience, 
which greatly shocked public opinion, and, 
though discredited by a report subsequently 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


made at the instance of the Board of Trade, 
something of that impression doubtless still 
lingers. It occurred to me that the present 
was a favourable opportunity of making in- 
vestigation. On Thursday, being just a week 
out, I found a quiet and full opportunity of 
spending some time in the steerage. There 
are 708 steerage passengers on the Britannic^ 
apparently exiles from all the kingdoms of 
Europe. As far as possible, they camp out 
in nations, the Scandinavians having their 
quarters, the Germans theirs, the Finns theirs, 
the Irish theirs, and so on through the record. 
With the exception of married couples, 
who have their special quarters, the women 
are all aft and the men all forward. Where 
the married couples Uve their berths are 
set out in blocks, each decently curtained 
from the other. In none of the berths is bed- 
ding provided, emigrants bringing what they 
deem requisite in that way, which in some 
cases, notably that of the Finns, does not 
reach extravagant proportions. The single 
women sleep on bunks, each containing five 
berths, one tier above the other, as in the 
saloon state-rooms. The arrangements for 
the single men are of the same character. 
Both forward and aft there are broad gang- 
ways providing free circulation, and portholes, 

VOL. I. 2 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


wide open at the time of my visit, giving 
abundant light. The floor was neatly sanded, 
and the bunks still preserved the severely 
scoured condition in which they left port. 

One of the things which most strikingly 
divide new and old order in the matter of 
ocean steamships is the care for ventilation. 
We had a rough time of it for the first five 
days out of Liverpool, and our state-room was 
once occupied for forty hours at a stretch. In 
the fortieth hour it was as fresh as in the first. 
The system here adopted is on the broad 
principle in vogue in the House of Commons, 
the best-ventilated Chamber in the world. A 
constant supply of fresh air is pumped in just 
above the level of the floor, and, working its 
way. upward as it becomes warmed, passes 
out through an open cornice in the ceiling. 
In the steerage and forward on board the 
Britannic there is an automatic ventilating 
apparatus which I wiU not attempt to describe, 
but which, in conjunction with the windsails, 
always freighted with fresh air blowing over 
the Atlantic, keeps up a supply that must 
be subtly invigorating to the denizens from 
crowded cities, and perhaps a little embar- 
rassing to the Finns. 

As to food, the boundless hospitality which 
reigns in the saloon is here diffused. Perhaps 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

"off sandy hook.'' 19 

for the first time in their lives these seven 
hundred men, women, and children live in a 
land where it is always meal- time. There are 
three regulation meals on the day of my visit 
thus provided for : — Breakfast : Irish stew, 
fresh bread and butter, tea, and coffee. Dinner : 
Soup, fresh beef and potatoes, stewed apples, 
and rice. Tea : Fresh bread and butter, tea, 
and gruel. 

"It is," as a pale-faced man said to' me 
with a gleam of tender recollection in his 
eyes, " cut and come again." 

Every one can have as many helpings as 
he pleases, and towards the middle of the 
voyage, when they find their sea-legs, they 
please in a manner truly appalling. , Lest 
they should feel hungry between whiles there 
are three large open barrels set by the main 
gangway. One contains biscuits, another 
rusks, and a third butter. At any hour of the 
day or night these may be dipped into. 
There is also throughout the day tea and 
coffee always going. From time to time a 
barrel of herrings is opened, and anon a barrel 
of apples, into which all are free to dip. How 
all this can be done at four guineas a head, 
the current rate of steerage passage, is a 
problem which I trust the owners have satis- 
factorily solved. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


At the time of my visit the passengers 
were all on deck — all but seven. These were 
a wondering white kitten, two canaries in a 
cage in the steerage, three thrushes in a large 
wicker cage forward, and in one of the berths 
a lusty infant, six weeks old, laughing and 
crowing and evidently in a state of profound 
satisfaction with the world as far as he had 
yet seen it. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

( 21 ) 



It is a pity that the first consideration forced 
upon the attention of the foreign visitor on 
landing at New York is the state of the roads. 
As far as I know, no civilized town — certainly 
no capital city — ^has thoroughfares in such a 
condition as those which disgrace New York. 
It is urged in extenuation that the tram-cars 
make good roads impossible, and that, as 
everybody travels by cars, the state of the 
roads outside the rails does not much matter. 
But neither of these assertions will bear con- 
sideration. New York is not the only city in 
the world that has trams. We have them in 
London, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, 
and most English towns. Yet the roads are 
kept in good condition. The tram lines in 
New York would of themselves make a British 
vestryman stare. In London the lines are 
laid with the flange on one side level with the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


road, and the grove as narrow as possible, with 
the object of preventing wheels of cabs and 
carriages from locking. Here, in the centre 
of mechanical activity and ingenuity, are 
found the old open rails of the time of George 
Francis Train, pitfalls for the unwary hackney 
coaches, traps for the hapless omnibuses. 

Outside the rails the roadway is in a 
pitiable condition. To drive from the White 
Star Wharf to the Windsor Hotel is a transit 
more perilous than a voyage across the 
Atlantic. In respect of the condition of the 
roads there is not much to choose between up 
town and down town. Fifth Avenue is ad- 
mittedly the principal street in New York. 
Yet I can see out of the window at which I 
write — immediately in front of the Windsor 
Hotel, within a stone's throw of the Vander- 
bilt mansion, in the middle of the thorough- 
fare along which the wealth and fashion of 
New York daily drive — a hole in the roadway 
two feet long, a foot broad, and from three to 
four inches in depth. Skibbereen does not 
shine in the matter of roadways ; but if 
opposite the hotel in Main Street there were 
a hole of this kind, the population would turn 
out in a body and denounce the Saxon 

The whole question of street locomotion in 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


New York is curious and interesting. The 
Elevated Kailroad, famiKar at least by name 
to all Englishmen, offers the fullest facilities 
for getting about a city of the peculiar con- 
struction of New York. It seems at first 
blush a monstrous proposition that a company 
of private speculators should seize upon the 
streets of a capital, run up iron posts, sling 
girders across, and run a railway along the 
level of the first-floor windows. But the 
streets of New York are so bad that there is 
a not imnatural feeKng on the part of the 
inhabitants that they could not be made 
worse. Now the railway is made and is in 
working order it is gratefully accepted as one 
of the institutions of the city. The trains run 
frequently to all places where men most con- 
gregate. The carriages are comfortable and 
airy, the roadway, benefiting by the spring of 
the girders, is exceptionally easy, and the 
price of a journey, whether long or short, is 

Whilst the trains run overhead the cars 
run below at half-price ; and morn, noon, and 
night, in rain or sunshine, both are crowded. 
A New Yorker rarely walks. A proposal that, 
having a visit to pay to the Fifth Avenue 
Hotel, I should walk, nearly had serious con- 
sequences to the hall porter at the Windsor. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


"Why," he said, gasping, "I guess it's 
twenty blocks ofif ! " 

He could not have been more taken aback 
if I had proposed to accompany Sergeant 
Bates, who having, utterly regardless of 
danger, carried the American flag through 
England, is now about to walk through the 
United States with the object, as he explains, 
of consolidating North and South, and stamp- 
ing out the last embers of an ancient feud. 

Across the river, in New Jersey, there are 
means of locomotion more startKng to the 
insular mind than the Elevated Kailroad. 
Travelling to South Orange, the train winds 
its way at full speed through the main streets 
of whatever towns or villages lie in its route. 
From time to time there are outbursts of 
indignation in England because of some acci- 
dent at a level crossing. Here is a level 
crossing miles in length, with an occasional 
signalman to wave the alarm where the tho- 
roughfares bisect the track. The company 
think they have done enough if they adapt 
the ordinary cow-catcher to the exigencies 
of the human population, and at regular in- 
tervals of space, entreat infants in arms to 
" Look out for the Locomotive. '* In addition 
to these precautions the engine tolls a sepul- 
chral bell, which just after another man or 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


womian has been killed has a most impressive 

This arrangement of the railway, whether 
travelling on the level of first-floor windows or 
along the main street of a populous town, is 
characteristic of the American's notion that 
the world was made for man, and not man for 
the world. To have railroads "right there'* 
is the handiest thing, and is accordingly done. 
On the same principle, an American lounging 
on a chair in a smoke-room will put his legs 
on a table if it be within reach. The table 
was not made for legs, any more than the 
main street of Orange or Newark was made 
for railways. But there's the table and there 
are the main streets. So the legs go on one, 
and the railroads run along the other. 

This spirit of utilizing whatever Ues nearest 
to hand is shown again in the matter of adver- 
tisements. The ugliness of New York is in 
places accentuated by the upheaval of lumps 
of sandstone rock, standing on bleak bits of 
cleared land. If this were Paris the oppor- 
tunity would be seized to make a bright spot 
in the heart of the city. Beds of flowers 
would bloom on velvety turf, and the bare 
rock would be covered with climbing plants. 
The practical mind of the American is struck 
with the excellent position of these stones for 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


advertising purposes, and they are accordingly 
covered with imperative injunctions to " Buy 
your Dry Goods for Cash," or to lose no time 
in ordering the " Eising Sun Stove Polish." 

On the outskirts of the city advertisements 
are planted out like cabbages or celery along 
the fields skirting the lines of railway. Down 
by the City Hall some building is going on 
which necessitates the putting up of scaffold- 
ing, the poles of which stand in barrels full of 
earth. These barrels had not been fixed an 
hour before they were hired to display the 
advertisement of a pianoforte maker. For 
several seasons the hotel-keepers at Coney 
Island, who have their private advertising 
connections, have been driven wild by a small 
boat with a large sail that tacks up and down 
ofif the crowded beach. On the sail is printed 
in gigantic letters, " Give Batty's Soap a 
Show." There is no escaping this. People 
go down to Coney Island to be near the life 
and freshness of the Atlantic ; and looking out 
seaward there is ever in view this small boat 
with its large mainsail bearing the strange 
device, " Give Batty's Soap a Show." 

There is little doubt that had the Ark hap- 
pened to be stranded on Jersey Heights instead 
of on Ararat, Noah on stepping out in the morn- 
ing would have found the structure plastered 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


over witli injunctions to " Use Gastrine for 
Dyspepsia," or to " Give Gargling Oil a Turn." 
The condition of the thoroughfares and 
the faciUties afforded by the elevated railroads 
and the endless chain of tramways combine 
to banish cabs from the daily use of the New 
York citizen. But there are times when 
a cab must be taken, and then the driver has 
his revenge for long neglect. Eight and four- 
pence is practically the lowest fare taken by 
a New York hack-driver. From the White 
Star Wharf to the Windsor Hotel, a distance 
certainly not exceeding three miles, I paid 
twelve and sixpence. Moreover, a gentleman, 
who introduced himself to me as ^* the Boss," 
demanded the fare before starting, a procedure 
resented as an imputation upon my solvency. 
But long before the hotel was reached, I 
perceived that it was simply a shrewd business 
transaction, for the odds were heavily against 
arrival at our destination. If the horse lived 
80 long, the rattletrap conveyance would surely 
come to grief over the corduroy road. Twice 
the horse stopped in protest against this sort 
of thing on a Sunday morning. The second 
time the driver got down and humoured him 
by taking off one of his shoes ; after which 
he did better, and covered the three miles in 
forty-eight minutes. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


I wanted to argue with the driver in favour 
of a reduction, on account of the economy 
effected in the matter of shoes. The case 
seemed very clear. I had hired a horse with 
four shoes. We had started with four shoes, 
and we arrived with three, a saving to the pro- 
prietor of twenty-five per cent., in which the 
fare had a right to participate. But it was 
no use talking. " The Boss " had my three 
dollars paid in advance, and if we had reached 
the hotel with only one shoe, as would pro- 
hahly have happened had it been a few blocks 
farther off, or if we had never arrived at all, 
he would have regarded the financial incident 
as closed. 

This same peremptoriness in the matter 
of securing payment is strongly marked in the 
Customs Department. America is a free 
country, and when a man is egregiously over- 
charged for Customs duty he is at liberty to 
''protest." Nothing can exceed the earnest- 
ness with which a New York Customs House 
officer invites the angered traveller to "pay 
under protest." A fellow- voyager on the 
Britannic had on the outward voyage played 
poker till, on arriving in the Mersey, he found 
himself, after many vicissitudes, the winner 
of eight pounds. After the manner in which 
equally pious men of old used to build a 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


churcli or endow a shrine after a prolonged 
bout of wickedness, our young friend, finding 
in an old furniture shop in Durham a piece of 
carved wood, certified by the second-hand 
furniture man to have formerly been a part of 
the altar of the cathedral, bought it with 
intent to present it to his parish church. 
When others ruefully counted up the cost of 
facing the Customs officials with their impor- 
tations, the reformed poker-player compla- 
cently eyed the case containing his altar- 

" That's real sixteenth-century work," he 
said. ** It goes through as an antiquity, duty 

I met him in the Customs shed two hours 
later. "What's the matter?" I asked, 
noticing his flushed faced and angry mien; 
*^ has the antiquity come out broken ? " 

" Antiquity be darned," he answered, with 
painful profanity. " * Twenty dollars duty,' 
says the fellow to me when I showed him the 
invoice. * Sixteenth-century work,' says I, 
* goes through as an antiquity.' * You bet it 
don't,' says he. ^ Antiquities don't begin till 
fourteenth century. Twenty dollars duty, 
but you can pay under protest.' So I had to 
pay for a mean matter of two centuries. If 
I'd only known the regulation, I guess that 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


altar would have been made two centuries 

Still lie had had the satisfaction of paying 
under protest, a luxury which, unlike some 
others, is not of a fleeting character. The 
manager of the leading EngHsh Insurance Com- 
pany in the United States tells me that a similar 
joy has lingered with him for six years. There 
is published here, for the use of insurance 
managers, a wonderful series of maps, showing 
at a glance the height, breadth, depth, and 
form of construction of every house and public 
building in the principal towns. The English 
directors having heard of this asked for the 
loan of one of the maps. Being returned in 
due course, the Custom House officers at New 
York pounced upon it, and in spite of clear 
evidence that it was in all respects of American 
manufactm-e, heavily taxed it. Payment of 
duty was made under protest, and upon com- 
munication with the Treasury repayment was 
promised. But it has never come, and there 
remains only the subtle satisfaction of having 
lodged the protest. 

Mention of this insurance map, a monu- 
ment of patience and labour, recalls another 
evidence of the completejiess with which 
Americans carry a project through. Fore- 
most among the drawbacks of holiday time 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


with the British householder is the anxiety 
as to what will become of his house whilst 
he is away. The New Yorker is relieved of 
this care and of some other domestic ones by 
a regularly constituted company. His fairy 
godmother, connecting his abode by telegraph 
wires with her own central domain, will upon 
the ringing of a bell send a messenger pre- 
pared, like the British marine, to go anywhere 
and do anything. A second signal will, as if 
by magic, bring a carriage to the door; a 
third will bring a policeman ; a fourth sounds 
a fire alarm; and I do not doubt that there 
are other signals that will call anything or 
anybody likely to be required in any well- 
regulated household. When the householder 
goes away to Newport, Longbranch, or other 
holiday resort, the godmother takes entire 
charge of the house, fastens windows and 
doors, connecting them with her own rooms, 
where, upon the sUghtest attempt to enter 
the closed house, a bell rings, and by the time 
that the pleased burglar has settled down to 
his work the police arrive. 

But a house shut up for a month in 
summer time would grow insufferably musty. 
The fairy godmother thinks of this, and once 
a week sends down, has all the windows 
thrown open, and thoroughly airs the house. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


It is gratifying to know that the godmother 
makes a handsome income out of this bene- 
ficial enterprise. When one thinks of the 
houses in London left tenantless for five or 
six months in the year, with the attendant 
expenses of housekeeping, and the constant 
fear of malpractices from without and within, 
one wonders whether there are no terms of a 
strictly commercial character upon which the 
fairy godmother could be induced to care for 
London as she does for New York, 

Owing to convenient contiguity to a rich 
stone quarry, it has come to pass that New 
York is one of the sombrest-looking cities in 
the world. The dream of the rich New Yorker, 
realized in the case of Mr. Vanderbilt, is to 
live in a brown stone-fronted house — that is 
to say, to show a bold veneer of brown stone 
to the world that passes along the main street, 
putting oflf your neighbours at the back with 
ordinary brick. No words can adequately 
convey a notion of the depressing shade of a 
New York brown stone house. It is some- 
thing of the colour of chocolate without the 
red tint which relieves it from absolute dull- 
ness. It gives the passer-by the idea that 
here is a house once strong and healthy, now 
sickening with a vague disease. It is im- 
possible to conceive any colour on the palette 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


that would set off or even harmonize with this 
sickly hue. To do the New Yorker justice no 
ordinary canons of art deter him from experi- 
ments. The brown stone fronts are backed 
with brick painted a brilliant red, pointed in 
black. Add to this Venetian shutters of a 
bright green, and sunbHnds of crimson stripes, 
and you wiQ get a result joyously achieved in 
many of the streets of New York. Sometimes 
whilst the shutters remain a brilliant green 
there are calico blinds of a deep blue. But 
I am not sure that this is an improvement. 

In Fifth Avenue and streets akin to it, 
there is some general toning down of these 
colours. But they break out here and there, 
and scarcely anywhere is the eye relieved 
from the depression of the deadly dulness of 
the brown. In New York politics efforts are 
sometimes made to bring about what are 
called the primary elections in July, because 
in that month, as it is said, " the brown stone 
fronts are out of town." If this were literally 
true it would be a great deliverance for New 

But the wind is tempered to the shorn 
lamb, and New York has an architectural 
glory, perhaps two, which cover a multitude 
of brown stone fronts. The lesser one is the 
white marble cathedral in Fifth Avenue, the 

VOL. I. 3 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


finest modern building of the kind I ever saw. 
The other, a marvel of combined beauty and 
strength, is Brooklyn Bridge, which is worth 
a journey a<5ross the Atlantic to see. Looked 
at from a distance, whether near or far, it 
seems to span the broad river with gossamer 
web. Yet an army might march across it, or 
the population of a small town might live 
upon it without fear of the yawning gulf below. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

( 35 ) 



^^ When I said I would die a bachelor I never 
thought I would live to be married," says 
Benedick, when reminded of earlier perversity. 
When with equal confidence I wrote of New 
York as the most unpaved of civilized cities, I 
had not been to Chicago. In this respect the 
metropolis of the West certainly beats the 
chief town of the Eepublic. Here and there 
New York can show a street or portion of a 
street as bad as anything in Chicago. There 
is, for example, a thoroughfare leading out of 
Broadway in the direction of Nassau Street 
which will maintain the reputation of New 
York against the world. I forget the name 
of this Slough of Despond, but it is in the 
very centre of the busiest parts of the city, 
answering pretty much to our Old Jewry. 
Thousands of busy feet thread it in the course 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


of a day, and cabs lumber through it, jolting 
and splashing around the plentiful mud. In 
the country districts, where the roads are 
occasionally bad, though infinitely better than 
in the centre of civilization, they have a pretty 
expressive name for sudden abysses or unex- 
pected upheavals. ^^ Thank-'ee-marms," they 
call them, because people in cab or car passing 
over them involuntarily make obeisance as if 
acknowledging the receipt of a favour. New 
Yorkers do not hesitate to attribute the pre- 
valence of ^^ Thank- 'ee-marms " in their 
principal roadways to corruption in municipal 
affairs. They pay rates for road-making and 
road-mending, they say, but the money melts 
away before it reaches the streets. 

In Chicago the mayor is personally saddled 
with the responsibility of the shameful condi- 
tion of the city, both in respect of its wrecked 
roadways and its general aspect of dirt. Every 
morning the local newspapers, with the itera- 
tion that seems to pass through parts of 
America as currency for humour, ask when the 
mayor will have the city cleaned. I believe 
that disregard of this commonest public con- 
venience is innate in the American character. 
They are stiU a young people, pioneers in a 
new country, where the first thing a settler 
did was to clear a space, run up a shanty, and 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


let the road grow of itself. In towns farther 
West, Uke St. Louis and Kansas City, the 
principle can be more clearly seen in practice. 
Kansas City in particular, a rapidly growing 
town, apparently builds houses in such haste 
that it forgets the customary appanage of 
streets by which they may be approached. 

In Chicago this pecuUarity is the more 
striking by comparison with the palatial 
houses and shops that line the ditches along 
which the vehicles flounder, and through 
which men and women pick their perilous 
way. It is amongst the proudest records of 
Chicago that it was bodily raised several feet 
from a swamp. With the customary national 
neglect of the roads, these were not Ufted to 
the full height of the general level. The con- 
sequence is that, except at crossings, where 
there is a kind of planking, it is necessary to 
take a leap off the pavement into the road. 
This is awkward for the pedestrian, but the 
advertiser sees his opportunity, and all along 
the edge of the pavement advertisements are 
pasted, and are very conveniently seen from 
the roadway. 

Talking about advertisements, and the 
ingenious methods created for their display, I 
think the palm must be worn by the agent of 
a tobacco manufactory whom I saw at work in 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Kansas City. He had with him a stock of 
green adhesive labels, enjoining the public to 
'^ Use Legacy's Tobacco." Observing a horse 
hitched to one of the rings which stud the 
pavements in Western cities, he stuck one of 
the labels on its haunch, carefully selecting 
the off side. Presently the owner, a portly, 
well-to-do citizen, came out of the store where 
he had been transacting business, and mount- 
ing his cob rode off, gratuitously and uncon- 
sciously advertising a tobacco brand. 

Unless people have a fancy for seeing pigs 
killed, there is nothing in Chicago to keep 
a traveller familiar with Liverpool or Man- 
chester. It is curious, when we come to think 
of it, that no one regards a visit to Chicago as 
completed till he has seen a pig killed and cut 
up. In itself the process is not attractive. It 
could be seen any day in London, if not in 
the scientific and wholesale manner practised 
in Chicago, at least complete enough for 
the pig. Yet I never heard of any one 
having an hour or two to spare in London who 
went to see a pig killed. Fortified by these 
reflections, I did not go ; but Lord Coleridge, 
making his famous semi-ofl&cial tour through 
the States, did, and so do nine out of any ten 
visitors who pass through Chicago. It would 
be idle to attempt to disguise the growth of a 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


slight coolness between the Lord Chief Justice 
and his hospitable and enthusiastic hosts 
because, having seen a pig killed and dismem- 
bered, he would not '^ go the whole hog " and 
be present at the process of sausage-making. 

Apart from its pig-sticking and packing 
regarded as a fine art, to be visited by the 
stranger as rare pictures and stately cathedrals 
are elsewhere sought out, Chicago is a place 
of which America may well be proud. It is a 
monument raised by human energy, skill, and 
pluck. Burned down to the ground in 1871, 
in 1873 it was rebuilt — a city ten times hand- 
somer and more substantial than that out of 
whose ashes it was raised. At the time the 
buildicg was going forward it was stated in a 
local journal that ^^ beginning on April 16, 
1872, and ending December 1, 3872, excluding 
Sundays, counting two hundred working days, 
and each day of eight hours, there will be 
completed one brick, stone, or iron building, 
twenty-five feet front and from four to six 
stories high, for each hour of that time.'' 

The energy and dauntless enterprise which 
thus grappled with the great calamity of 1871 
throbs through the city to-day in pursuit of 
the ordinary avocations of business. Chicago 
is one of the hveliest towns I have seen. In 
whatever part of the city one walks, he is 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


sure to be jostled by a crowd moving at high 
pressure. The city covers a wide area, but its 
business capacities are nearly doubled by the 
heights of its buildings. Nothing under six 
stories is to be seen even in what may be 
called its back streets, whilst seven or eight 
is the average in the main thoroughfare. 

Chicago is the model to which all Western 
cities turn, with natural expectation of some 
time equalling or even rivalling its splendid 

^^ We reckon here that Kansas City will 
some day show Chicago the way," a citizen of 
that thriving place said to me, as he sat on 
the pavement in his shirt sleeves and a chair, 
with his legs a considerable distance up the 

Certainly the growth of Kansas City with- 
in the last few years makes this expectation 
a little less wild than it will appear in Chicago. 
It is estimated that during the last four years 
Kansas City has nearly doubled itself, an4 is 
still rapidly growing. St. Louis looks on with 
something of jealousy at the strides taken by 
its lusty younger brother, and some spiteful 
talking goes on between the newspapers of 
the rival towns. Just now St. Louis is sneer- 
ing at the theatrical and dramatic taste of 
Kansas City, and recommends an opera com- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


pany playing there to meet the tastes of the 
community by interspersing a breakdown by 
Buffalo BiU between the acts of " Maritana.'* 
Whereto Kansas journals vigorously respond 
by quoting well-authenticated instances where 
St. Louis having declared in favour of an ope- 
ratic or dramatic company, the company has 
hopelessly failed elsewhere ; or where St. Louis 
having damned with faint praise, public opinion 
in more advanced cities has enthusiastically 
approved the efforts of players or singers. 

Unlike Chicago, neither St. Louis nor 
Kansas City shows outward signs of the press 
of business. The gentlemen of Kansas City 
are much addicted to sitting in their shirt- 
sleeves on the shady side of the pavement, 
with a cigar in their mouths and their heels in 
the air. There is great competition for lamp- 
posts, eased off a little since the introduction 
of telegraphs, which are carried by posts along 
the footways of the main streets. But appetite 
grows with what it feeds upon, and the passion 
of Kansas men for getting their feet above the 
level of their heads is not slaked even by 
combination of telegraph-posts and lamp-posts. 
When not thus carrying on business on the 
pavement, the male inhabitants of Kansas 
City play billiards, or sustain their drooping 
energies by imbibing a whisky cocktail, or, to 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


use latest imagery, born with the completion 
of the Northern Pacific Eailroad, *^ driving 
a golden spike." Work must be done here, or 
Kansas City, instead of forging ahead, would 
fall out of the race. Only it seems to be done 
by stealth, and with an ostentatious appear- 
ance of leading a lazy life. 

The only earnest workers visible from a 
street survey are the newsboys, who rush 
about from morn till eve with ever fresh 
editions of the daUy papers. "Whilst New 
York journalism is suffering the shock of 
reduction in price, and from £250 a day 
downwards is being sacrificed by enterprising 
proprietors anxious, as the Tribune puts it, 
that their readers shall share in their pros- 
perity, Kansas City goes on its way demanding 
and receiving twopence halfpenny for its morn- 
ing sheets. Here, as throughout the States, 
there is notable the distinction, as against 
EngUsh custom, that every one buys his own 
paper. There is neither borrowing nor lend- 
ing, and an hotel would as soon think of 
providing its customers with the free use of 
the latest three-volume novels as of furnishing 
a gratuitous supply of the morning papers for 
common reading. 

To such extent is this care of the interests 
of newspaper proprietors carried, that in the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



larger hotels, where there is a newspaper 
reading-room, there will he found no copies of 
the local journal. Guests cannot buy the 
Chicago papers, the Southern papers, the 
Canadian journals, or the spicy sheets from 
the Far West. Therefore the hotel will provide 
them. But guests can buy in the vestibule of 
the hotel the local papers at a cent advance 
on their pubUshed price, and if they want to 
read them they must buy them. Considering 
that twopence halfpenny is the regular price 
of a morning paper out of New York, it is 
astonishing to see how many people and what 
class of people buy their morning newspaper 
going into town, and supplement it with one 
or more evening papers on their way home. 

St. Louis stands on the banks of the 
Mississippi, a muddy stream beside which 
the Thames off Westminster is a silver tide. 
There is no small-minded or ill-judged attempt 
on the part of the Mississippi to hide its real 
character. It is simply a solution of yellow 
mud, and it flows downward to the sea, rather 
proud of the fact than otherwise. People 
wash in Mississippi water and drink it after 
undergoing a process of filtering. But no 
filtering will take out the stain of mud, and it 
is appalling to think of the wholesale transac- 
tions in real property which daily go forward 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


in cities where the Mississippi furnishes the 
water supply. 

One other thing the two eager young towns 
have in common is flies. In St. Louis it is 
said that '^ Kansas City has more flies than 
any town in the world.'' But Kansas City is 
not to be outdone in this unwonted burst of 
generosity, and magnanimously insists upon 
the pre-eminence of the more southern city. 
As a sojourner in both, I should say the matter 
was not worth quarrelling about. A fly more 
or less is of no consequence where they are 
counted by tens of thousands. In neither 
city have I sat down to meat with less than 
five hundred guests at a single table, two 
righteously paying their bills and 498 not only 
settling down without saying ^* by your leave," 
but insisting upon being the first to taste 
every dish that comes to the table. 

The only means by which a fair share can 
be secured for the paying guests is for the 
waiter to stand and fan the dishes spread out 
on the table. This is rough on a plate of 
mutton chops or a cut of roast meat not very 
hot when it came to the table. But there are 
compensations even for this drawback. The 
coloured gentleman assigned for the duty of 
fanning starts off exceedingly well and plays 
havoc with the flies. Gradually the breeze 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


subsides; the flies return in increasing num- 
bers; the white cloth darkens; bread and 
meat are rapidly disappearing. You look up 
to ascertain the cause of the cessation of the 
breeze, and, behold ! the coloured gentleman, 
with eyes half-closed, is mechanically fanning 
himself. I observe that the proper thing to 
do in these circumstances is to thrust your 
elbow sharply into his ribs, when he wakes up 
and makes the flies beUeve the wind called 
Euroclydon has visited Kansas City. But 
even when you have learnt the knack of 
catching him in the right place it is evident 
that the flies get a fair share of what is 

At St. Louis we had for companion at 
breakfast, in addition to the flies, a Eoman 
CathoUo priest travelhng West on a distant 
mission. He told me a pitiable story of the 
sudden dashing of high hopes. He had been 
personally interested in the conversion of 
Sitting Bull, a sturdy old Indian chief whose 
name usually comes to the front in any 
negotiation between the American Govern- 
ment and the Indians, who still hang like a 
shadow on the western frontier. Sitting Bull 
had been brought to see the error of his ways, 
and after a long siege had capitulated to the 
good priest. His admission to the Church 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


was to have been made the occasion of a 
ceremony befitting so great a conquest. A 
day was named for the admission ; a bishop 
had undertaken to officiate ; the Indians them- 
selves were looking forward to the certainty of 
a big show, and the possibiUty of a little fire- 
water, when the whole business was upset by 
an unexpected difficulty. Sitting Bull had at 
least two wives. The Church could recognize 
only one. The wily old Indian declared him- 
self positively incapable of deciding which 
wife he should forsake, and after being pam- 
pered for three months, living on the fat of the 
land, he broke off the negotiations on this 
point, and retired to his wigwam. It was a 
terrible blow to our friend, a simple-hearted, 
honest enthusiast, who had prayed by night 
and worked by day to lay this precious offering 
in the bosom of Mother Church. He was too 
low-spirited to take note of things near at 
hand. So his waiter dozed and fanned him- 
self, whilst the flies ate his breakfast. 

As the thermometer is now only a trifle 
under 80° in the shade, Kansas men snuff 
scornfully at complaints of heat. I saw a 
youthful negro leaning against a row of 
molasses barrels eating a great sUce of water- 
melon. The air around him was thick with 
wasps, buzzing and bustling, apparently 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


resenting this intrusion on their domain. 
Young Washington, however, paid no atten- 
tion to the wasps, but went on crounching 
with white teeth into the rosy pulp, and look- 
ing as if he had discovered a new joy in having 
a few hundred wasps battling around his 
woolly head, what time he ate a melon. I 
had a great hankering for a water-melon, and 
asked him where he had bought it. 

'' Eight thar," he answered shortly, waving 
his hands toward the swelling streets of 
Kansas City, with an indefiniteness convenient 
if it should turn out that he had stolen the 

I went on a pilgrimage in search of a 
water-melon, and had great diflSculty in find- 
ing it. 

^^I guess it's too cold for water-melons," 
one fruiterer said, with that downright senten- 
tious manner with which Americans casually 
met shut off efforts on the part of strangers to 
enter into conversation. 

I had to go a long way before I found a 
water-melon. Then it was too big to carry 
back to the hotel, so I sat in the shop and fed 
bountifully upon a twentieth part of it, dis- 
pensing huge slices to the coloured population, 
who gathered round the spectacle. The water- 
melon cost fivepence, and was the only thing 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


not absolutely dear that I have purchased in 
the United States. 

On sunny afternoons the rank, fashion, 
and beauty of Kansas City come out in gala 
attire. Kank and fashion of the male sex 
is a little monotonous in its dress, being, 
as already hinted, addicted to shirt-sleeves 
and feet up a telegraph-post. But female 
beauty, here as elsewhere, is not to be coerced 
into dSshabille by any exigencies of weather. 
Between four and five in the afternoon is the 
fashionable hour for the Kansas belle to go 
shopping, or to take the air, and then, indeed, 
Main Street presents a dazzling kaleidoscope 
of beauty, ever shifting, but always rare. 
Some of the dress materials worn seem a 
little out of place at 80° in the shade. But 
then, passing visitors know nothing of the 
normal condition of Kansas City in summer 
time, with the thermometer at 140°. As it is 
** too cold for water-melons," it is not too 
warm for velvet and plush of cool refreshing 
purple or brilliant red. But white dresses 
are chiefly in vogue — not the simple white 
muslin frock which English girls too rarely 
wear, but a thick white material made heavier 
with embroideries and with ribbons and laces 
sewn on wherever, on completion of the 
costume, it had been found that a few square 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


inches of the material have inadvertently been 
left plain. The hat is usually of straw, almost 
absolutely flat, and secured on the top of the 
head by a combination of pins and ribbons. 
This flat shape is designed with the object of 
displaying the coiffure — a wonderful arrange- 
ment, whether regarded from the rear, where 
it bursts out in a series of unexpected and 
unaccountable knobs, or gazed upon from the 
front, where it is combed and trimmed over 
the brow in a kind of sublimated fringe. 

The Kansas girl has heard that in Paris 
and London, which, owing to the accident of 
elder birth, are perhaps a little ahead in the 
matter of fashions, crinoline has partially 
resumed its empire. But if Paris and London 
have been first in the field, it does not follow 
that they shall keep their place when Kansas 
City enters into competition. A Kansas girl 
does not do things by halves. It is under- 
stood that in Europe crinoline is worn only 
at the back, a cage being, as it were, cut in 
two and attached. A Kansas belle takes a 
whole crinoline, hitches it on behind, and, 
serenely conscious of a fluttering at the hearts 
of eligible young men with their coats off and 
their feet up the lamp-post, sails slowly up 
and down Main Street till it is time to go in, 
take off the finery, and ^^ fix up supper." 

VOL. I. 4 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 




The boarding of a railway train at Coolidge, 
an attempted robbery, and an accomplished 
murder, have awakened the West out of a 
pleasing dream of security. These attacks 
upon railway trains are by no means of 
frequent occurrence, though when they happen 
they are talked of so much and for so long 
a time that they grow to be familiar. To 
stop and rob a train, is an exploit that obviously 
demands united force, well-ordered plans, and 
desperate courage. It is the Waterloo of 
the rowdy's campaign, which works its level 
way through the year by petty larceny, horse- 
stealing, gaming, and an occasional shooting. 
In 1874 the Union Pacific Eoad was the scene 
of the first of these outrages, when the train 
bound East was boarded by seven men, who 
got clear off with ^62000. A few years later 
this same Santa Fe line, on which Coolidge 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


stands, was the scene of an attempted robbery 
by a famous gang which takes its name from 
its leader, '* Big Mike Kourke ; " and only 
last year, the anniversary within a day of the 
Coolidge affair, the Santa Fe train was captured 
by four men, who compelled the express man 
to open the safe, and robbed it of its contents, 
which did not happen to exceed ^61000. 

The fame of Jesse James's exploits filled 
England at the time that they aroused the 
United States. They were marked by an 
audacity, a resource, and a ruthless barbarity 
which placed their leader on a pedestal where 
even now he is regarded through the West 
with a kind of sorrowful admiration. Jesse 
James was hanged, and his body now rests in 
the little front garden before his mother's 
house. His brother is in jail, the gang is 
broken up, and people had grown into the 
behef that they might go about their business 
along the great high-roads to the West with 
the assurance that they were in a civilized 
and law-abiding country. Then comes this 
affair at Coolidge, and all is excitement and 
apprehension. It was curious to note on 
leaving Kansas City this morning (October 4, 
1883), the tearful groups bidding farewell to 
friends going out West. It is a far journey, 
and the average of accidents on a run of 634 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


miles must be taken into account. But over 
and above this is the new terror of the night 
journey, and the possibility of being wakened 
up by pistol shots and ruffianly demands for 
your portable property. 

The scene of the murderous outrage of 
Saturday was admirably chosen. Coolidge is 
a small village, a few miles distant from the 
border line of Colorado and Kansas. There 
is a roadside station with a telegraph office, 
and a shed that passes for a refreshment bar. 
The village itseK consists chiefly of a drinking 
saloon and a gaming house, neither held in 
favour by the police. The train reached 
Coolidge about one in the morning, and made 
a brief stoppage. The conductor was about 
to start it when he noticed a man climbing up 
behind the express car. He thought it was a 
tramp engaged in the not unfrequent enter- 
prise of securing a free ride. He called out to 
him to come off, but the fellow pressed forward 
and entered the express car. This was in 
charge of a man named Peterson, who is the 
hero of the day wherever the story has 
reached. Peterson was lying on his back 
upon some sacks, and was just dropping off 
to sleep when he was awakened by the 
conductor's challenge of the supposed tramp. 
He looked up and saw by the dim light of the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


oil lamp a man standing by the open door. 
The stranger covered him with his pistol, and 
fired, the bullet passing close by his head and 
lodging in the floor of the van. Peterson 
dropped his hands as if he were mortally 
wounded, and the stranger, turning round, 
fired at the conductor, who was standing on 
the platform watching him. This shot also 
missed him. Peterson, before lying down, had 
placed his revolver by his side. When he 
dropped his hands he felt out cautiously with 
his right for the pistol, a double-action Colt. 
He touched the muzzle first, and, with his 
haK-closed eyes fixed on the robber, he slowly 
moved his hand along till he got a firm hold 
of the butt and his finger on the trigger. 

Meanwhile the robber, concluding that he 
had slain the express man, moved towards the 
rear of the van in search of anybody else that 
wanted killing. The baggage man had been 
seated by the doorway when the first shot was 
fired, but by this time he was comfortably 
located under the table in the refreshment 
shed. He has subsequently explained that not 
being armed, and feeling rather in the way 
when shots were flying round, he had con- 
cluded he would be better under the table. 
As the robber moved towards the rear of the 
van, Peterson, sitting up and covering him 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


with his revolver, fired. The robber, taken 
aback at this liveliness on the part of a corpse, 
returned the fire, but his pistol went off before 
he could cover his man. At this moment 
Peterson saw another man climbing in at one 
of the side doors, and, setting his back against 
the side of the car, prepared for the new- 
comer. But panic had already seized upon 
the robbers. The first one jumped out by 
the door through which the baggage man 
had already beat a strategic retreat. The 
second disappeared without firing, and, the 
van being now cleared, Peterson proceeded 
to barricade the doors in readiness for an 
expected siege. 

The gang, which consisted of only three 
men, were divided, two being told off to seize 
the express van, and the other to secure 
control of the engine. Their plan was to get 
the train drawn out of the station, when they 
could proceed with their work at leisure, 
stopping the train when the booty was secured, 
and pulling up where they pleased. With 
pistol pointed at his head and with horrible 
oaths, they ordered the engineer to '^pull 
out." The unfortunate man does not seem 
to have had time either to refuse or to obey. 
Turning sharp round on hearing this injunc- 
tion, he was straightway shot dead. The 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


murderer, described as a very tall man about 
thirty years of age, immediately wheeled about 
and shot the fireman, who was in the act 
of jumping off the engine. 

The whole thing took place within three 
minutes. But the two men routed in the 
express car were already in full flight, and 
there remained nothing for the desperado on 
the engine but to follow them. The passengers 
in the train were by this time aroused, and 
one or two had come out on the platform. 
But it was all over. The bandits had vanished 
in the darkness, and there remained to tell 
the story only the dead body of the engineer, 
the wounded fireman, the gallant Peterson 
barricaded in the express baggage car, and 
the judicious baggage man under the table in 
the dining shed. 

Dick Liddil is inclined to sneer at the 
business, as the blundering work of amateurs. 
Dick is a bandit retired from business, who, 
with old age creeping over him, has taken to 
farming, the monotony of which he relieves by 
visiting Kansas City once a week for "a big 
drunk." He happened to be in the city on 
Saturday when the news came, and oppor- 
tunity was gladly seized to consult so great 
an authority. If the fellows had known their 
business, Dick grunted, drowning a fly at five 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


paces with a sqiiirt of tobacco juice, they 
would not have gone three on a job of that 
kind. Three men could not hold up and go 
through a long train, anyway. Two would be 
short hands enough to look after the engineer, 
the conductor, and express messenger, and 
that would only leave one to go through the 
train and chow down the passengers. 

^^It's bin a blarmed muddle all through," 
said Dick, with a far-away look in his eyes 
that spoke regretfully of a good chance missed 
while some people who would have brought 
it through were fooling their time away farm- 
ing in Missouri. 

This professional opinion as to the bungling 
tactics which resulted in failure, is pretty 
generally shared by the Western public, 
who, if this kind of thing must be done, like 
to see it carried through in workmanlike 
fashion. But it is obvious that failure resulted 
from an accidental circumstance which no 
foresight could have averted. Had the con- 
ductor not happened to have been walking 
past the express at the precise moment, the 
first robber would have got on unobserved, 
and would have had Peterson at his mercy. 
It was the conductor's rough hailing of the 
intruder that roused him, and it was the 
necessity for the simultaneously dealing with 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Peterson and the conductor on his flank that 
shook the robber's aim. This first miscarriage 
led to everything that followed. The pre- 
mature discharge of pistol shots before the tall 
man had mounted the engine and covered the 
engineer with his pistol, led to his mad firing 
just as the engineer, all unbidden, was about 
to do what the gang wanted, and '^ pull out." 
Once mastery obtained of the engine and the 
express waggon rifled, with Peterson either 
killed or cowed, the turn of the passengers 
would come, and a pretty haul would be made. 

Dick Liddil was asked to consider these 
things, to which he grunted an incredulous 
^' Maybe," but reiterated — 

" It was a blarmed muddle, anyhow." 

Whatever else remains in doubt, it is 
generally agreed that the murders were com- 
mitted by cowboys. The cowboy is a person 
indigenous to the Western States, and except 
that sometimes he looks after cows, he has 
nothing in common with his English proto- 
type. I read in a newspaper a special de- 
spatch from Salt Lake City so strangely 
touching that I cut it out. It runs thus : 

^^ Sixteen shots were fired at a cowboy in 
the streets of Salt Lake last night, but he 
escaped. Not a man in the city will acknow- 
ledge the shooting." 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


The ingenuous mind instantly conjures up 
the moving scene. Here is a small boy in 
a smockfrook with his trousers generously 
turned up, and his hands in his pockets. 
Fresh from the arcadian simplicity of rustic 
labour, he enters the city, perhaps for the first 
time, and wonderingly looks around. A gang 
of loafers observe him, and, peradventure half 
drunk, begin to pot him. Sixteen shots are 
fired, and the terrified little fellow, running 
hither and thither wild with fear, somehow 

That is the picture presented to the in- 
genuous mind on reading the newspaper de- 
spatch. I have seen the reality since, and 
heard a good deal of his habits and q^pti- 
tudes. His age varies from sixteen to forty- 
five. He is invariably dressed in a white 
soft wideawake, grey or blue shirt, and rough 
woollen or canvas trousers, tied in over the 
ankle. He has a pistol pocket, and when 
out of the limits of towns where it is for- 
bidden to carry arms ostentatiously displays 
it. His language is chiefly composed of an 
endless chain of oaths and imprecations. He 
does not mean to swear, and is not even 
aware that he is doing so. People in cities 
have in their dictatorial way laid down the 
rule that certain words and phrases shall be 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


called swearing, and their nse must be avoided 
by all decent people. To the cowboy these 
interdicted words and phrases are ordinary 
parts of speech, like our adjectives and 
adverbs. It is the language he has been 
brought up in from early childhood, and 
human speech would be woefully barren if he 
were not allowed to introduce two oaths in 
every sentence. 

This said in extenuation, it must be ad- 
mitted that a cowboy's conversation is apt to 
shock the unaccustomed ear. 

Of course there are cowboys and cowboys. 
All swear terribly, but some honestly and 
assiduously labour, whilst others, going alto- 
gether to the bad, hang on the skirts of 
society, rob, and, if need be, murder with no 
more compunction than they would lassoo a 
straying ox. On the distant and lonely 
ranches where they have been brought up, 
' human life is held as scarcely of more account 
than that of oxen. They instinctively regard 
a stranger as an enemy, and at sight of one 
their hand closes on their pistol and their 
finger feels for the trigger. 

A story told me by the owner of one of 
the largest and wealthiest ranches of Texas 
illustrates with grim simplicity the rules of life 
by which the cowboy is guided. A little child 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


died on the ranche, and the mother desired 
with piteous entreaty that it should have 
Christian burial at the hands of the clergy- 
man. The rancheman, though now one of the 
wealthiest men in Texas, was born and bred a 
cowboy. With another lad he had, at the 
age of twelve, gone into business on his own 
account, with a stock of a dozen cattle. He 
had never been to church, as, indeed, he had 
scarcely ever lived a day off the ranche. He 
had the vaguest idea of what a clergyman 
was or did. But he loved this woman very 
much, and, saddHng his horse, he rode straight 
off fifty miles to the nearest hamlet, and 
brought back ^^a preaching man*' almost 
literally at his saddle-bow. 

The rancheman assembled all his cow- 
boys to witness this strange ceremony. As 
they stood by the open grave the preaching 
man, whilst offering up prayer, knelt and closed 
his eyes. The rancheman was aghast. He 
had brought this man over, and felt personally 
answerable for his safety; and here he was 
on his knees with his eyes shut, and scarcely 
two paces off a score of the blackest rascals 
in Texas, not one of whom had ever been 
known to miss his aim I This kind of a 
target, he felt, would, with the best intentions, 
be irresistible, and as sure as the preaching 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


man knelt there he would be shot. Without 
loss of a moment's precious time the ranche- 
man quietly placed himself behind the kneel- 
ing preacher, and whilst the unfamiliar prayer 
went up to heaven over the open grave of the 
child, he, with finger on the trigger of his pistol, 
covered the congregation, and at the first 
movement of a hand towards pistol-pocket 
would have shot the man as certainly and 
with as little sense of wrong-doing as if he 
were killing a wasp. 

Whilst the cowboy, the Ishmael of the 
Western States, thus has his hand against 
everybody, everybody's hand is ready to be 
lifted against him, with or without occasion. 
A despatch published in Kansas City papers, 
dated Tuscon, Arizona, September 25, relates, 
much in the style of a market report, what 
befel a party of four cowboys. 

^^ A sheriff's party of twenty-five men," 
says the report, ^' met a party of four cow- 
boys and ordered them to throw up their 
hands. Kid Lewis, the leader of the cowboys, 
was in front and pulled his pistol, when the 
posse fired upon them. Lewis received several 
balls at the first fire, and was instantly killed. 
Frank Leonard was wounded, and crawled off 
into the hills. Nothing has since been seen 
of him, and he is believed by many to be 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


dead. McNamara and Vanil were unhurt, the 
latter riding away amid a volley of bullets." 

It will be observed that no reference is 
made to any crimes the cowboys may have 
committed or been suspected of. They were 
simply a party of four cowboys. One was 
shot on the spot, one crawled off with two 
wounds, and the other two, like the charmed 
cowboy of Salt Lake City, rode off unhurt. 
It does not appear that any inquiry will follow, 
or that this active sheriff wiU be called upon 
to justify his exploit. The explanation, if 
called for, will doubtless be that he acted in 
self-defence. If he had not shot Kid Lewis, 
Kid Lewis would have shot him, and in a 
nicely balanced affair of that kind preference 
must of course be given to a representative 
of the law. Life west of Kansas City is 
literally the survival of the fittest — that is, 
of the man who can fire first. 

Efforts are being made to put down this 
evil by passing laws prohibiting the carrying 
of weapons about the person. Last week a 
man in Kansas City, caught flagrante delicto^ 
was fined twenty pounds. But this law, ex- 
cellent in its purpose, is practically a dead 
letter. The only circumstances in which it 
operates is where a man is arrested for being 
drunk. He is then in a position to be legally 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


searched, and in nine cases out of ten he is 
found with a loaded weapon in his pistol- 
pocket. In this way the law works in the 
temperance cause, hut only indirectly for the 
protection of life. The city editor of the even- 
ing journal in Kansas City is at the present 
moment serving a period of twenty-five years 
in the penitentiary for having shot his man. 
The incident has been the making of the 
newspaper, but it is awkward for the city 
editor. It is probable that he might have 
served his journal and preserved his liberty 
but for the accidental position 'in which the 
man stood when he was shot. The bullet 
entered his back, which prevented the prisoner 
from pleading that he had acted in self-defence. 
There is a story told in Denver which 
illustrates the readiness with which this plea, 
generally irresistible with a Western jury, is 
urged when a man gets into difficulties. Three 
citizens of Denver were drinking in a little 
room off the bar. One of them suddenly fell 
dead from heart disease. The other two, 
conscious of a shady record, and certain that 
they would be accused of killing him, went 
into the bar, ordered some cigars, which they 
knew were kept in another part of the house, 
and whilst the barman was away, they carried 
the dead man in, put him on a chair, with 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


his head between his hands, as if he were 
sleeping oflf drink. 

''He'll pay for the cigars," they said to 
the barman, and walked out. 

The bartender waited a reasonable time, 
and then, going up to the supposed sleeper, 
shook him roughly and demanded payment. 
To his horror the man rolled off the chair, 
and then he saw he was dead. At this 
moment two fresh customers entered, and 
the barman recognizing his peril as the other 
two had done, said with an oath — 

*' I did it in self-defence." 

That is a Denver story for which I do not 
vouch, though I do personally vouch for the 
literal truth of the story about the kneeling 
clergyman and his protector. 

With one more story, also true, for it is 
written in the prosaic record of the police- 
court, I will conclude this budget of episodes 
in Western life. At Blue Kock Springs, Ken- 
tucky, three brothers named Kogers met to 
complete some formalities in the matter of their 
father's will. They were all men well to do in 
the world. Samuel was the president of a bank, 
William was a lawyer, and Thomas a farmer. 
As the business proceeded, Samuel, according 
to his own account, '' thinking his brothers 
were about to draw their weapons," whipped 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


ont his revolver, shot Thomas in the head 
and William in the stomach. William died 
at four o'clock on the next morning, Thomas 
lay for weeks at the gate of death, and brother 
Samuel, when I left the district, was in gaol. 
He had already put in his plea. 

It was that he acted in self-defence. 

TOL. I. 

Digitized by 





To persons who have heard of Denver as the 
head-qnarters of a mixed population of miners 
and cowboys, the city itseK is an agreeable 
surprise. Its most striking feature is its 
extreme respectability. Its streets being laid 
out in broad boulevards, flanked on either side 
by rows of trees, it is to some extent remi- 
niscent of Wiesbaden or Baden-Baden. But 
these towns are associated with gambling, 
dancing, and other frivoUties, and it is im- 
possible to oonnect Denver with anything of 
the kind. Perhaps Leamington comes nearer 
to Ukeness with Denver than most towns, and 
it is not easy to overrate the respectabihty of 
Leamington. It is quite true that only three 
nights before our arrival a gentleman walking 
home through these broad and pleasant streets 
was, as the newspapers have it, '* held up " — 
that is to say, he was knocked down. Strange 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



to say, at this critical moment a policeman 
happened to come in sight, whereupon the foot- 
pad fled. The policeman fortuitously had a 
loaded revolver in his pocket. This he drew 
and hlazed away through five blocks, hitting 
nobody, not even the man who had been 
" held up." This, however, is a mere break- 
ing out of the old Adam, and cannot be held 
seriously to vary the general tone of respecta- 
bility that pervades the place. 

There is nothing lacking to complete the 
handsomeness and desirability of Denver, 
The roads are broad and well made — terribly 
dusty when the wind blows, but that is not 
every day. The houses are substantially built 
and tastefully designed. From one of the 
mountain ranges that circle Denver with a 
band of purple and gold is quarried a rare and 
beautiful building stone, tinted with veins of 
pink on ground of grey. There is too much 
reason to fear that if New York had this stone 
it would, at considerable expense, have it 
worked so as to present a smooth surface to 
make it worthy of a place by ''the brown 
stone fronts." Denver leaves the mark of the 
honest chisel upon its stonework, which is 
pleasant to look upon accordingly. Most of 
the principal buildings and residences are built 
with this stone, the rest being made with red 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


brick, of which there seems abundant supply 
somewhere in the neighbourhood. ' 

There are trees everywhere, for the most 
part cooHng their feet in the mountain streams 
that run down the side of the street. In early 
October the cotton trees were turning a 
beautiful yellow ; not altogether, but here and 
there one stood out clothed in soft, transparent 
yellow. The trees do not wither away leaf by 
leaf^ as in London parks, till nothing is left of 
what was once a tree but the blackened limbs 
and a few shrivelled leaves. Here the leaves 
hold on to the last, full of sap and colour, till the 
yellow dress is put on, and then, after a quieter 
phase of existence in these new robes, a snap 
of winter comes, and they fall in a day. But 
the day before death they were still beautiful. 

Over Denver in these early October days 
is spread a sky of the clear blue, paling away 
to pearly grey on the horizon, that is seen in 
summer days in Switzerland. The air is 
singularly pure and bracing, blowing in from 
the north and east over the far-reaching 
prairie, and by the south and west from the 
Eocky Mountains, whose snow-clad peaks, 
standing beyond the purple band of the lower 
hills, catch the Hght of the rising sun long 
before he can be seen from the house-tops of 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



At a time within the memory of travellers 
to he met with on the railway to-day, the 
trains between Kansas City and Denver rarely 
completed their journey without having killed 
a buffalo. The herds crossing the track dis- 
dained to get out of the way of the strange 
monster, and it was so much the worse for 
the buffalo. But the -buffalo, like the Indian, 
is a stranger now on the prairies that were 
once his home. 

Like other towns out West, Denver has 
grown very rapidly, and is daily growing. New 
building is being pushed forward, more particu- 
larly by Capital Hill, where there are clusters 
of handsome residences. The city abounds in 
churches and chapels, the Baptists seeming to 
have obtained a firm footing in the place. One 
of the handsomest of the chapels is theirs. 
There are, however, some signs of the market 
being overstocked, one chapel bearing a placard 
announcing that it is " For rent." 

Here, as in other American cities, one is 
struck by the frequency of ladies driving 
unattended. Sometimes alone, sometimes 
with a lady friend, they dash about, holding 
the reins at arm's length, one in either hand. 
They serve to make walking lively, for they 
habitually drive round comers at full speed, 
and with the evident conviction that the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


other street is depopulated. There are more 
dogs in Denver than in New York and 
Chicago put together. Americans do not 
seem to have carried with them the old- 
country love for dogs. It is the rarest thing 
to see a dog in New York, and then they are 
exceedingly poor specimens. They are not 
, particularly good in Denver, but there are 
more of them, and they fill a larger place in 
social esteem than in Eastern cities. 

There is a fair sprinkling of Chinese in the 
city, and they have, as usual, appropriated 
the laundry business. Passing along a street 
I caught sight through an open window of a 
pretty domestic scene. Ly Chung, in spot- 
less white linen trousers and jacket, was 
standing at one table pensively ironing a 
shirt ; at another table stood Loo Chee 
goffering the frill of a petticoat, for which he 
would presently charge one and fourpence; 
whilst seated on a low stool in the rear of 
the laundry sat Ah Sin strumming on a three- 
stringed instrument a melody from fatherland. 
The Chinese do not willingly confine their 
energies to washing linen. They jump at an 
opportunity of doing a little washing out in 
gold and silver mines. When Leadville was 
still in its infancy the Chinese picked up 
several good things, and did not loose their 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


hold till they had picked them clean. It is 
invigorating to hear a Leadville miner talking 
about the shameful audacity of the Chinese 
in presuming to labour in his fields. It is 
a wonder the Chinese are not oftener " held 
up ; " but somehow they manage to gUde 
along and make money. 

Denver has one of the handsomest theatres 
I ever saw. We went to the play the night 
before leaving. It was a fearful infliction. 
The audience did not in any wise come up to 
the expectations of society in a comparatively 
new mining centre. They were well dressed 
and even painfully quiet. No English audience 
would have stood the inane ponderosity of the 
heavy father, the flatulent goody-goodiness of 
the young man who married the girl, or the 
pitiful posturing of the girl who married the 
young man. Once, when the angry father 
got his daughter down on her knees, and 
with his teeth set and eyes rolling, proceeded 
to manipulate the back of her neck as if he 
were inserting a gimlet, there was a titter 
from the gallery. But it was immediately 
suppressed, and the audience sat out the 
inanity with marvellous patience. 

Lord Eosebery, who was one of them, ex- 
plains this phenomena on the ground that 
Denver, conscious of a shady record in the 

Digitized by 



past, really likes to be bored in this way, 
under the impression that respectable people 
are always bored, and that, being bored, a 
Denver audience is respectable. 

At Castle Kock, a roadside station half- 
way between Denver and Colorado Springs, 
our train was boarded by a comfortably stout 
gentleman in a serge suit, with a knitted 
woollen vest and a low-crowned felt hat. He 
might have passed without notice but for the 
circumstance that he carried in his hand a 
red brief bag unmistakably the property of a 
Q.C. Looking again, I recognized in the sun- 
browned stranger Mr. Charles Kussell, who, 
with his red bag, made his way through the 
crowded car as if he were pushing through a 
blocked passage in the new Law Courts. 

It is, in truth, somewhat difl&cult to re- 
cognize friends and acquaintances on these 
long journeys, where you get in at one station 
and don't get out till you have covered six 
hundred or a thousand miles, and dress for 
hard living. Coming from the Cave of the 
Winds at Niagara, I met a figure attired in 
the costume necessary for making the ex- 
pedition behind the waterfall. A suit of 
yellow mackintosh is not usually seen at 
Westminster, still less a suit of which the 
jacket is made for one figure, the trousers for 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


another, and the head-piece for a third. 
When the figure addressed me by name the 
voice was familiar, and memory struggled to 
recall the portions of face visible. If Mr. 
Borlase could have delivered from its im- 
prisonment beneath the yellow waterproof 
that silken beard so famihar in the House of 
Commons, flashing like the plume of Henry 
of Navarre in the van of battle when the 
Farmers' Union is attacked, I should have 
recognized him. But in this masquerade 
he might have lingered in Mr. Chaplin's 
company with impunity. 

Mr. Charles Eussell had been spending a 
couple of days on a ranche, riding coatless 
thirty miles a day over the prairie, which in 
these parts is more interminable than the Belt 
case. Since he landed at New York towards 
the end of August he has covered many 
thousand miles, travelling through Canada 
West to Portland with the Northern Pacific 
party, by sea to San Francisco, and now on 
the long railway journey to New York. He 
stayed at Colorado Springs for the train east 
(the same that was attacked at Coolidge), 
and in the afternoon we had a pleasant 
drive to Manitou and the Garden of the 
Gods. Manitou is nearly empty now, but 
a few guests stiU lingered in the little hotel 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


with the large verandah at the foot of Pike's 
Peak. The Q-arden of the Gods is not quite 
so big as its name would imply. But it is a 
pretty place, with curious blocks of red sand- 
stone rising up in unexpected places. These 
take fantastic shapes, two resembling human 
heads, and one, it was agreed, being singularly 
like the massive front of Sir William Harcourt 
when seen in profile. Others looked like 
ruined castles, and one rises to a height of 
one hundred and twenty feet, whilst its base 
does not exceed ten feet, and from some 
points of view is considerably less. 

Colorado Springs is apparently so called 
because it has no springs. There are several 
at Manitou, one producing a Uquid that would 
pass excellently well for soda water. It is 
doubtless from proximity to these that the 
little town gets its name. It is a health 
resort of growing repute, especially in cases 
of affection of the lungs. There are sixteen 
doctors in the place, and, as far as I observed, 
only one undertaker. As elsewhere through- 
out Colorado the air is splendid, warm by day, 
cool at night, always dry and bracing. It is 
said that the only things that can't live here 
are mosquitoes. 

'' This is a very healthy town," I observed 
to one of the oldest inhabitants. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


"I guess it's pretty wal," he replied. 
" When we built a schoolhouse we made a 
cemetery, but we had to shoot a man to 
start it." 

The streets here are broader even than in 
Denver, and on the south and west the view 
down the long avenues is bounded by the 
same stupendous hills. 

Eailway travelling in the United States 
just now is hampered by a special difl&culty. 
On the 1st of October it occasionally becomes 
clear that the summer is over and gone, and 
that the time for the lighting of stoves is 
come. They are lit accordingly, without 
strict regard to the temperature outside, and 
as there seems to be no borderland between 
having the pipes cold or nearly red-hot, the 
sensation on entering one of the cars from the 
fresh air is akin to what might be experienced 
on walking into an oven. But the Americans 
like it, especially the women, and attempts 
made by foreigners to avert asphyxia by opening 
the ventilators are undisguisedly frowned upon. 

The Denver and Kio Grande Eailway 
between Denver and Leadville goes through 
some of the finest scenery in the world. The 
public to-day have been educated to the belief 
that with the railway engineer nothing is 
impossible. Standing on the prairie at the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


eastern foot of the Kooky Mountains, this 
faith is shaken, for it seems incredible that 
any train could either tunnel or scale these 
heights. As far as Salida, where a branch 
line goes oflf for Leadville, the Denver and Kio 
Grande Eailway has found itself singularly 
favoured by fortune. Just beyond Cailon 
City the mighty mountains have by some 
slow process of nature been rent in twain. 
Through this aperture the river Arkansas 
flows, and where the river goes it was deter- 
mined that the railway should run. The 
rocky walls of the riven mountains rise up to a 
sheer height of three thousand feet, and look 
down in silent amazement at the busy, smoky 
train passing through a soUtude which for 
countless years was broken only by the voice 
of the turbulent river. For several miles 
there is just room enough for these two, the 
river and the railway, and at one point the 
way is so narrow that the railway is obliged to 
run over the river for a few yards. 

At Canon City an open car, provided with 
benches, is attached, and here those who can 
brave the hideous smoke sit and look upward 
at the wall of rock, which in some places seems 
topphng to a fall that would bury the railway 
train and dam up the river. It is a curious 
sensation to sit in this open car and watch 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


the train ahead making its snake-like progress. 
The curves are innumerable and perilously- 
sharp. From time to time, whilst a portion 
of the middle of the train is hidden behind 
a curve, you can see the engine dashing ahead, 
apparently by itself. The line runs so near 
the jagged rock, that by reaching out you 
could tear your hand against it, and often 
it seems that this time the carriage really is 
about to take a header straight into the rock. 
But it is only turning another sharp comer, 
and does it with the assured safety which 
marks the whole of the journey along this 
wonderful line, leaving the average of accidents 
a trifle under that of other lines of similar 

Out of this chasm, justly known as the 
Q-rand Canon, the train emerges upon a peace- 
ful valley, where the sunlight breaks through 
on patches of vegetation, and where are railway 
stations comprised of two or three wooden 
huts which minister to the convenience of 
mysterious populations located in lateral valley 
or mining in the heart of the hills themselves. 
Then comes the steep ascent to LeadviUe, the 
latest and lustiest of American mining camps, 
where men Uve and labour all through the 
year in a town pitched two thousand feet 
above the range of everlasting snow. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 




Considering its great height, being three 
thousand feet above the Alpine snow-line, 
Leadville has a wonderful climate. In the 
first week in October it was quite hot in the 
sun, though occasionally in passing comers 
one was reminded that there are snow-drifts 
on the encircling belt of hills. In summer 
it is sometimes even sultry, though the nights 
are always cool. The town, though it looks 
dingy and worn-out, is not more than five 
years old. It is partly built on CaHfornia 
Gulch, a famous mining camp of twenty years 
ago. In 1859 California Gulch was first 
prospected, and one year the yield of gold was 
over ^6600,000 sterUng. But it gradually fell 
away, till in 1866 the diggings did not pay 
the cost of working, and were abandoned. It 
was pretty bleak in California Gulch in winter 
time, and the gold-diggers, finding at hand 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


a thick consistent kind of mud, used to caulk 
their cabins with it. After the gold-diggers 
had gone, a pair of sharp eyes, looking upon 
this mud, recognized it as carbonate, worth 
^0 a ton. The tide of miners, which had 
ebbed with the failure of the gold, set in again 
with a great rush when this fresh find was 
made. The discovery of silver was followed 
by the certain prospect of rich yields of lead. 

The miners in their spare time decided to 
found a town. A meeting was called, at 
which twenty men put in an appearance, and 
out of their number they selected a mayor. 
A lawyer who happened to be around was 
named recorder, and Leadville was formally 
added to the list of cities within the United 
States. To-day the city has a population 
varying from eighteen thousand to twenty-two 
thousand — more in winter and fewer in 
summer, when the miners go forth to prospect. 
In addition to mayor and recorder, there is 
now a city council, three daily papers (which 
give surprisingly little for twopence half- 
penny), three banks, two theatres, seven 
schools, and, as far as I was able to observe, 
one church. In respect of this last institution 
I was left very much to personal observation. 
Some of the citizens from whom I made 
inquiry doubted the existence of a church. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Others ^^ guessed there was one round about." 
The schools are amongst the handsomest and 
most substantial buildings in the place. They 
are all free, though Leadville has not yet 
reached the length of compulsory attendance. 

Leadville is in no sense a picturesque city, 
though its situation is unique, embowered 
as it is amid the loftiest heights of the 
Kocky Mountains. Being so near the moun- 
tains have little of grandeur. The Kockies 
want distance to make them beautiful. Seen 
near at hand, they are bare brown rocks, seared 
and fissured, with a few stunted fir trees grow- 
ing here and there in sheltered places. Just 
now the summits are sprinkled with snow, 
and close at hand are hills whose tops are 
covered with perpetual snow ; but nowhere in 
the Kocky Mountains is there visible the deep 
white [snow that may be seen in Switzerland 
at altitudes two or three thousand feet less. 
Leadville has that striking feature of untidiness 
common to most American towns — some not 
having the excuse of recent birth. The streets 
are never swept, nor the side walks cleaned, 
whilst the main thoroughfares are only a trifle 
better than the streets of Chicago. 

Outside of Harrison Avenue the houses are 
mostly wood, some the true log-house. They 
stand apart like toy houses. It is marvellous 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


how some of the giants who work in the mines 
and lounge about the streets can insert them- 
selves. Being once in, it would appear an 
easy matter to thrust their feet through the 
flooring, get a good grip of the back kitchen- 
door and the front parlour fireplace, and walk 
off with the structure, as Samson carried off 
the gates of Ga5:a. 

One of the houses, twelve feet long by ten 
square, had pasted over the front door a 
placard which obscured a fifth of the surface, 
announcing that it was a ** Private Boarding 
House." The daily habit of working in con- 
fined spaces in the mine would probably enable 
a couple of men to adapt themselves to the 
conveniences of the establishment, but it 
would be hard work. On the bleak hill-side 
leading up to Chrysolite Mine several of these 
wooden boxes are scattered about among the 
burned stumps of trees and the dShris of 
preserved-meat cans. 

It is not an easy matter to see the mines. 
There is a good deal of jealousy and suspicion 
abroad, and as there are varying reports of 
the prosperity of mines it is deemed advisable 
to keep strangers out, lest peradventure a spy 
might be entertained unawares. A private 
introduction secured for us a hearty welcome 
at ' the Chrysolite Mine, and the fullest 

VOL. I. 6 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


opportunity of inspecting it. But a silver 
mine does not lend itseK to usages of de- 
scription. It is chiefly dark and frequently 
wet. The roadways are narrow and heavily 
timbered, with the object of supporting the 
roof. Descending by the cage in pitch dark- 
ness, we are on reaching the bottom 'presented 
with a candle each, wherewith to explore the 
recesses of the mine. But the darkness is so 
thick that a candle or even five candles are of 
little account in picking your way along an 
alley where there is sometimes a plank to walk 
on, and sometimes a stream of water to wade 
through. The roadways through this mine 
form an aggregate of seven or eight miles in 
length. There is no trolly as in Enghsh coal 
mines, but the men know short cuts, which 
lead them to their work without undue loss of 

Holding the candles against the rock, the 
metal can be seen to sparkle ; but where the 
miners have dug out the ore and it is being 
conveyed in carts to the smelters it is difficult 
to believe that the yellow or brown earth 
contains silver or lead. The men work singly 
or in couples, grubbing away at the dark 
hard walls by the light of a single candle. 
The carpenters tread closely on the heels of 
the miners, shoring up the openings as fast as 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


they are made. Chambers out of which ore 
has been dug rise up one over the other, in 
some places reaching eight stories. Each is 
shored up by stout pillars roughly sawn from 
trees. Sometimes the supports break asunder 
like a match with the weight of the super- 
incumbent rock, when new ones are promptly 
inserted and catastrophe averted. This is 
only in cases where the mine is being worked. 
In an abandoned mine when the supports give 
way the mine falls in. Close by the Chrysolite, 
an old working has thus tumbled in just under 
the road along which waggons travel from the 
Chrysolite Mine to the smelting works. The 
road is now closed, and a wooden cross warns 
chance passers-by of ^* danger." 

The miners are, take them altogether, the 
finest men J ever saw. Six feet is a fair 
average of height, and some run to 6 feet 
4 inches. They are good-looking to boot, 
many of them handsome. To look at them 
one would suppose that mining was the 
healthiest occupation open to man. They 
have a frank bearing and manner of speech 
that astonishes the stranger. Every one is 
called by his Christian name, not excepting 
the members of the firm. 

'* Good morning, Ned," said our guide to 
one of the miners. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


** Morning, Frank," responded the miner, 
looking up for a moment to greet his employer, 
and then going on with his work. 

There was nothing rude or even brusque 
in this. It simply meant that in a mining 
camp one man is as good as another as long 
as he is able to put in a good day's work. It 
is the merest accident that makes one man 
employer and another a wage-taker. If Ned 
had been around before Frank he would 
probably have bought up the lease of the 
Chrysolite, and the position of the two men 
would have been reversed. As it is, they live 
together in perfect friendhness, taking a shot 
at one another upon provocation, it is true, 
but in the meanwhile working in hearty 

There are times when the Leadville miner 
is not seen to such advantage as when he 
stands, pick or drill in hand, putting all his 
soul into the effort to dig out ore. LeadviUe 
has a Continental reputation for being a wicked 
place, and it is understood that the orgies of 
the miner are too awful to be contemplated. 
I had the opportunity of going to see the 
miner at his worst, and found it run largely 
to dulness. The first place visited is known 
as the Carbonate Beer Hall. This is in Stade 
Street, admitted to be the bad street of Lead- 

Digitized by 



ville. It turns out of Harrison Avenue, the 
Bond Street, Pall Mall, and Eegent Street 
of the city. On entering the beer hall the 
visitor is faced by a placard entreating him to 
** patronize the bar." An admission fee of 
one shiUing to the body of the hall, and two 
shillings to the boxes, is nominally fixed, but 
not strictly enforced. It is from the profits 
on the sale of liquor that the establishment is 
maintained, and when it is mentioned that 
a bottle of beer is charged at the rate of four 
and twopence, and a thimbleful of bad whisky 
a shiUing, it will be understood that this source 
of revenue does not fail. 

Inside were gathered about forty men, 
taking their pleasure with infinite sadness. 
One or two had abandoned the struggle against 
the weariness of it, and, laying their heads 
on the table, soundly slept. The hall was 
furnished with beer-stained tables and dirty 
chairs. A gallery ran round the upper part, 
empty save so far as the soles of a pair of 
boots seen over the front of one of the boxes 
indicated the presence of a gentleman. On 
the stage were two men in tights, forlornly 
dancing to funereal music provided by an 
orchestra consisting of a violin and a piano. 
When the dance had dropped to a conclusion, 
the dancers ducked their heads and retired, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


immediately coming forward again, bowing as 
if they had been recalled by an enthusiastic 
audience, and recommencing in obedience to an 
imaginary encore. As a matter of fact, there 
had not been a sound or gesture of applause. 
The profound sorrow that brooded over the 
audience was too heavy to be thus upHfted. 

The only busy people in the place were 
the wife of the pianist, who sat by him in- 
dustriously sewing, and the women who sold 
drink. These latter are called beer-juggers, 
and fill a large place in the evening life of the 
miner. They work on commission, receiving 
fivepence for every jug of beer sold at a dollar. 
They have tickets, which the bar-tender 
punches upon each transaction, and at the 
close of the evening a cash settlement is made. 
It is obviously to their interest to make the 
miners drink, and to that end they indulge in 
blandishments, which relieve by a single touch 
of vice the level dulness of the night's enter- 
tainment. One of the beer-juggers, taking 
note of the pair of soles displayed from the 
box, went upstairs, and confirmed the sus- 
picion that there was more in them than met 
the eye by rousing up a gigantesque miner and 
inducing him to purchase a bottle of beer. 

The Zoo, a somewhat similar establish- 
ment, of higher pretensions, placards its 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


portico with the injunction " For Wine, 
Women, and Fun, walk straight ahead." 
Admission here is two shillings, and is more 
strictly enforced. Perceiving opportunities for 
business a beer-jugger showed us into a private 
box. We ordered a bottle of beer, which she 
brought with three glasses, and, uninvited, 
poured a glass out for herself and drank it, 
whilst lamenting the slackness of the times. 
One substantial reason why the fun here and 
elsewhere so grievously flagged was that pay- 
day was approaching. The miners are paid 
only once a month, and at this epoch a 
dollar for a bottle of beer, though served 
with a leer from a repulsive creature in 
woman's dress, was a little dear. At the 
end of a month a miner finds himseK in 
possession of from £25 to £30, and, as a 
corollary, has what he calls *' a blow-out." 
These are the halcyon days of the beer-jugger. 
There are not infrequent occasions when a 
miner is cleared out in a single night, and 
starts on the morning after pay-day with only 
a single dollar out of the hundred he had 

The performance at the Zoo was varied. 
There was a domestic drama, in which a 
nigger servant and a baby played the principal 
rdles ; then appeared a nigger who danced and 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


sang, and who, till a rollicking Irishman with 
a shillelagh followed, seemed the most soul- 
depressing creature that ever strutted the 
stage. The hoxes at the Zoo were fairly filled, 
a moiety of the occupants being harlots, 
painted, noisy, and in all ways loveless. These 
women have their claim upon the consideration 
of the citizens, since they contribute largely 
to the relief of the rates. They are required 
to pay a pound a month for their licence, and 
for the ingathering of this revenue there is a 
municipally appointed collector. Should the 
five dollars in any case be lacking, the cor- 
poration suddenly and sternly awake to the sin 
of the thing, and the woman is cast into 
prison^ If the five dollars be forthcoming all 
is well. 

It should be said that the corporation of 
Leadville are as inflexible with wrongdoers 
within their own ranks as with those outside. 
A short time ago an alderman, having a differ- 
ence of opinion with a local editor, settled the 
controversy by knocking him down and kick- 
ing him. The corporation, taking note of 
this irregularity, have forbidden the alderman 
to take part in their proceedings for one 
calendar month. 

Over the stage-box at the Zoo is printed 
an injunction to *' Step in and see Pap Wyman 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


on your way home." We did so, and found 
Pap beaming over much business. He is one 
of the oldest residents in LeadviUe, and started 
the first regular gambling-house. He is now 
getting up in years, and has developed some 
eccentricities. At the little counter where he 
dispenses drinks is a box, in which is placed a 
Bible, so that a gentleman in the interval of 
playing euchre, or whilst refreshing himseK 
with a cocktail, may read a verse or two. 
Over the clock face is written " Please don't 
swear;" and under strong provocation Pap has 
been known to enforce this request with a 
round oath. Though these httle matters may 
seem to indicate what Leadville would call 
old-fashioned notions. Pap is well abreast of 
the times. He has fitted up machinery by 
which the saloon is illuminated by the electric 
light, and in other ways keeps his eye open to 
the attractions of his place. 

Pap's tables were all going, and so were 
the four at the Texas House. Two of the 
tables are for faro, one for draw poker, and the 
fourth for a game called stud-house poker, an 
improvement in speculative range on the older 
game which has recently made great headway 
in Leadville. The faro tables were most 
patronized. The banker sits in the middle, 
under the fierce light of two huge gas-burners. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


On his right, in a high armchair sits a man 
who in the interests of the proprietor keeps 
his eye on the game and sees that all bets lost 
to the bank are paid. In the contrary case it 
is reckoned that the players may be trusted to 
see justice done. 

I visited several gambling dens, and foimd 
prevailing everywhere the same quiet, border- 
itig upon dull melancholy. The proprietors of 
the gambhng dens, like the lessees of the 
drinking and dancing saloons, were pining for 
pay-day. I made the acquaintance of one 
gambler, who, as far as personal appearance 
and history went, comes nearer to the realiza- 
tion of Mr. John Oakhurst than seemed 
possible. Bom of a well-known Massachusetts 
family he had been a gambler, miner, billiard- 
marker, and some other things not so reput- 
able. Having won and lost several fortunes 
at cards, he had arrived at the conclusion that 
the chances are greatly in favour of the bank. 
He had accordingly, very early after Pap 
Wyman began to flourish at the corner shop, 
set up in business for himself, and has so 
greatly prospered that he is now building a 
new saloon, paved, as he mentioned with 
pardonable pride, with Minton's tiles, directly 
imported. A tall, handsome, dark-eyed, light- 
hearted man, I suspect he would not hesitate 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


either to shoot or cheat an acquaintance if 
direct advantage were to be obtained. But, if 
physiognomy is not wholly deceitful, he looks 
like a man who would stand by a friend, and 
be kind to women and children. In these 
respects, and with the advantage of gentle 
birth and early education, he is a fair type of 
the drinking, gambling, shooting, and hard- 
working men of Leadville. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 




The traveller entering Salt Lake City by the 
Denver and Eio Grande Eailway has a very 
charming introduction. The beauty of this 
wonderful line has faded amid the sandy plains 
that lie between the Green Eiver and Grassy 
Trail. Then in the early morning the train 
ghdes into Utah Valley, with its comfortable 
little homesteads, tree-embowered and sur- 
rounded by grass plots, which excite the 
marvel and envy of dwellers in the middle 
States, who all agree that it is more like 
Connecticut or Massachusetts than anything 
they are immediately acquainted with. Chil- 
dren throng about the train with baskets of 
apples, pears, and grapes, which they offer for 
sale on the principle of a Dutch auction, the 
price coming down very low indeed as the 
train begins to move away. We pass through 
this valley, with its blue lake on one side, and 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


on the other a range of hills deepening from 
grey to purple, with streaks of blood-red shrubs 
growing in the fissures, making the hills look 
as if they had been cut open and the wound 
left bleeding. Next comes a little pass in the 
hills, and the train is running along the Salt 
Lake Valley, to the left the lake, a streak of 
blue on the horizon, and to the right, shining 
in the early morning sun, the City of the Saints. 
It is enough to make good Americans 
envious of a people whom they on other 
grounds strongly dislike to find them located 
in this pleasant fruitful valley. A nearer 
acquaintance with the city is not calculated 
to lessen this feeHng. Land was cheap when 
Brigham Young, a later Moses, led the tribes 
out of the wilderness. With all his special 
gifts of prophecy, the successor of Joseph 
Smith could not foresee what the new city 
would grow to. But he wisely determined 
that it should have a fair start, and began by 
laying out the streets at a width of 128 feet. 
By these, ever extending till the city now 
covers an area of nine square miles, were built 
business places and residences to suit the 
needs of the growing population. The houses 
round the outskirts are very prettily built — 
most frequently of one story, with verandahs 
and gardens. The city is laid out in squares 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


of ten acres, each subdivided into lots of one 
and a quarter acre. There are abundant trees 
growing boldly in the middle of the broad side- 
walks, and mountain streams gaily race down 
by the roadway. These are not trickling 
streams, but veritable brooks, crossed by gang- 
ways. Throughout the Territory land sells at 
six and sixpence an acre. Within the city 
boundaries it must be pretty dear, for Zion is 
not only beautiful to look upon, but profitable 
to peddle in, and the saints are, above all 
things, shrewd men of business. 

We had the good fortune to arrive at Salt 
Lake City on conference day. These con- 
ferences are held twice a year, and are attended 
by delegates from all the outlying tributaries 
of the Mormon metropolis. Here was a rare 
opportunity of seeiug, not only the city people, 
but the provincials, otherwise to be obtained 
only by extended travel. The broad streets 
were full of them — men, women, and children, 
standing about, staring into the shop windows, 
or gossiping with old friends and new ac- 
quaintances. Bringing no prejudices to the 
consideration of this interesting settlement, 
I can honestly say that I never saw in a crowd 
of ten thousand people so many dull-looking, 
unintelligent men and women. The latter 
were atrociously dressed ; but it is questionable 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


whether any master of the art could have 
greatly improved their appearance. It was 
suggested to the profane mind that women so 
unattractive, having failed to secure monopoly 
of a hushand, had, with the patient resigna- 
tion of their sex, finally contented themselves 
with a share. 

The peculiarity of personal appearance was 
marked hy a little incident of street travel. 
Standing in Tribune Avenue, a stream of people 
suddenly issued from a large building, and 
made their way through the throng already 
gathered on the side -walks. It was borne in 
upon me that it would be necessary to modify 
the note already taken — ^that after long and 
careful survey of a Mormon crowd, whether 
in the streets or the Tabernacle, there was 
not only not a pretty face among the women, 
but not one otherwise than actually plaii^. Of 
this new tributary to the crowd out of every 
twenty women there were at least half a dozen 
pretty faces. They were better dressed and 
altogether different in manner, laughing and 
chatting, and looking generally as if they were 
glad to be alive. Speaking of this to a resi- 
dent in the Avenue, he solved the mystery 
This was a Gentile crowd coming out of a 
Gentile theatre, where they had been enjoying 
a morning performance. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Outsiders, like myself, hastily assume that 
the Mormon City is a city of Mormons. This 
is a mistake. Out of an estimated population 
of twenty-seven thousand, one-fifth are 
Gentiles, and their number is increasing at 
least pari passu with that of the saints. The 
Gentiles cannot turn the Mormons out of the 
valley which they have made a blooming 
paradise; but neither can they themselves 
be kept out, though their incursion and 
increase are looked upon with jealousy and 
disHke by the Mormon leaders. It was not 
altogether unconnected with this matter that 
Brigham Young had the revelation unfavour- 
able to mining as an occupation. To en- 
courage mining would be to open the door to 
an influx of Gentiles, a thing by all means 
to be avoided. But the Gentiles, not being 
hampered by belief in the Divine origin of 
this revelation, and there being much ore in 
the neighbourhood, have proceeded to work 
it, and find Salt Lake City convenient head- 
quarters. The only thing that can be done 
in the circumstances is to stand as far apart 
as possible, and contiguity of neighbourhood 
has not lessened the ill-will that has always 
existed between Mormons and law-abiding 

The Tabernacle stands in the centre of the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


city, broad streets radiating from it to the four 
points of the compass. It is a curious struc- 
ture, the like of which was never seen on sea 
or land, a circumstance explained by the fact 
that its architectural points were also a Divine 
revelation to Brigham Young. It has a dome- 
like roof, covered with grey wooden tiles. 
The roof, which is oval in shape, 250 feet long, 
and 150 feet wide, hangs low on forty-six 
stone piers, the interspaces being filled up 
with doors and windows. The whole affair 
is strikingly Hke a prodigious tortoise that has 
lost its way, and is thinking which turn it 
shall take. This is the summer meeting-house 
of the Mormons, and has neither means of 
lighting nor of giving heat. Close at hand 
is the winter church, more ordinary looking, 
as being the work of a human architect. On 
the other side of the Tabernacle, making with 
it and the church three sides of an irregular 
square, the Temple is slowly rising. This 
is a more pretentious building than either of 
the others. Over two miUions of dollars have 
already been spent upon it, and it is still far 
from complete, though President Taylor 
expects it will be finished in the course of 
two years. 

Gentiles are permitted to enter the Taber- 
nacle and attend the services, in the hope that 

VOL. I. 7 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


some seed falling by the wayside may bear 
precious fruit. The Temple will be kept 
sacred from all pollution. Only members of 
the Church will pass its portals, and here will 
be carried on those special ministrations 
directed in " The Book of Doctrine and 
Covenants," written by the inspired pen of 
Joseph Smith. The interior of the Taber- 
nacle is plainly furnished with benches; a 
'broad gallery runs round it, and at one end 
is a raised platform, flanked on either side by 
galleries chiefly occupied by the choir. Here 
also is the organ, which in size is equalled 
only by two others throughout the States — 
one in Boston and the other in Plymouth 
Church. It was, an apostle told me, built 
on the premises to avoid catastrophe in the 
way of finding it impossible otherwise to get 
it within the walls. The roof is hung with 
garlands of evergreens. These did not form 
part of the original revelation. It was a 
happy thought inspired by the occurrence of 
a Sunday-school festival. The decoration so 
greatly improved the appearance of the vast 
bare hall, that the garlands have been left 
there, though they are old and withered now. 

Long before two o'clock, the hour named 
for the afternoon conference, a stream of 
human population converged upon the Taber- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


nacle, entering by its many doors, and speedily 
flooding the place. When President Taylor 
took his seat there was not a bench anywhere 
vacant. A considerable majority of the con- 
gregation were women, plain-looking, hard- 
working, care- worn creatures, evidently glad of 
the little excitement brought into their dull 
lives by this festival. Next to the women, 
perhaps running them pretty close in the 
matter of numbers, were the children. There 
was no mistaking their presence. Long before 
the organ sounded or the choir rose to sing 
the babies began, squall answering to squall 
throughout the vast edifice. Occasionally 
one choked with howling, and after being 
vainly beaten on the back and shaken up, was 
carried out. But two or th):ee were nothing 
in such a multitude, bawling and squealing, 
and the crowing went on without distinguish- 
able decrease in volume. 

The proceedings were opened by prayer 
offered by a rugged-looking elder, who stood 
by the rostrum with horny hands rigidly up- 
lifted. President Taylor occupied a seat in 
the back row of benches in the gallery im- 
mediately behind the rostrum. Beside him sat 
his two counsellors. In the row immediately 
before him were the Twelve Apostles. Before 
these were ranged a body of the Bishops — not 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


all, for there is a Bishop for every ward, and 
Salt Lake City alone has twenty-one wards. 

Prayer over, the organ sounded forth, 
proving to be as beautiful in tone as it was big 
in size ; the choir sang excellently, and then 
Wilfrid Woodruff appeared at the desk, de- 
claring that he could not let the occasion pass 
without saying a few words. The words turned 
out to be many, but their purport lay in 
narrow compass. 

*' We," he said in effect, ** dwelling in this 
city of the New Jerusalem, are the chosen 
people, the sons of God. We go our way, 
living temperately, chastely, and righteously. 
The world hates us with a bitter hatred, 
missing no opportunity of striking a blow at 
us. But what matter ? It has ever been 
thus. The hatred of the world has always 
pursued the children of God, and it will be so 
till the end, when our glory and our triumph 
will come." 

This Mr. Woodruff said over and over 
again in varying phrase, not one of which was 
successful in eliciting from the audience a 
movement or sign of sympathy. It would be 
difficult to imagine anything more common- 
place, bald, and ineffective than this address, 
harping on the one string which subsequent 
speakers touched, to bring out precisely the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


same tune. Eloquence certainly is not one of 
the gifts by exercise of which the Mormon 
leaders hold the people in sway. There were 
many other addresses delivered at the so-called 
Conference, at which all the talk was done by 
the hierarchy. None rose above the level of 
Mr. Woodruff's address, and it would not have 
been easy to fall below it. 

I particularize this speech because Mr. 
Woodruff is a notable man. As President of 
the Twelve Apostles he is the natural successor 
of Mr. Taylor in the presidency, and in his 
hands will rest the principal guidance of the 
destinies of the people. Nominally the elec- 
tion of a new President rests with the people, 
in whose hands lie all appointments to 
ofl&ce ; but when a new President is elected 
only one name is submitted — that of the 
President of the Twelve Apostles. The people 
may vote *'no" if they please to assume an 
attitude of open revolt to their spiritual 
pastors and masters. As a matter of fact they 
never do, and when President Taylor dies 
President Woodruff will reign in his stead, 
carrying forward in regular course the decline 
in personal ability which has marked new 
Presidents, since it became necessary to elect 
a successor to Brigham Young. 

Mr. Taylor is a man of great shrewdness 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


and sagacity, who would have stood higher in 
the public estimation if he had not had the 
misfortune to succeed a consummate states- 
man like Brigham Young. Born in West- 
moreland, of German family, he came out to 
the States forty years ago, and was one of 
those who marched under the leadership of 
Brigham Young across the great plaihs into 
the Valley of the Salt Lake. He has travelled 
widely, taking something more than his share 
of missionary work, labouring in England, 
France, and aU over the United States. 
Travel has increased his knowledge, widened 
his sympathies, and made him what is known 
as a man of the world. 

That Mr. Woodruff lacks some of the 
qualities essential to the making of a state- 
man would appear from the fact that he is 
now bent upon reviving and carrying into 
daily usage certain superadded principles of 
the Mormon religion of which Brigham Young 
judiciously fought shy, and is in this respect 
imitated by President Taylor. When Joseph 
Smith was growing old, with digestion weak- 
ened and spirits lowered, he had a revelation 
of the pernicious effects of hot drinks, tobacco, 
and malt liquor. This, it will be perceived, is 
a sweeping prohibition, for hot drinks include 
tea, coffee, and chocolate, beverages with which 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


total abstainers compensate themselves. To 
enforce obedience to these precepts would be 
to imperil the newly founded kingdom. Brig- 
ham Young always spoke respectfully of " The 
Words of Wisdom," as this particular revela- 
tion is called, but did not have them written 
on the posts of his door or embroidered on the 
hem of his garment. Neither does President 
Taylor, wise in his generation. But Mr. 
Woodruff rigidly carries into practice all the 
instructions to be found in this revelation, 
which would be no particular matter, only he 
is insistent that others should do the same 
under pain of being denounced as failing in 
their duty to God. In his address on Con- 
ference Day he dragged in this topic, and 
gave a sly hit at one of the sons of the late 
Prophet, who, he said, failed in one respect. 
Whether it is his whisky cocktail, his cigar, or 
his hot cup of tea that Mr. Young finds too 
precious for sacrifice was not particularized. 

When Mr. Woodruff had made an end of 
speaking, Mr. Q. Cannon came forward. This 
gentleman formerly represented the Territory 
in the Congress at WashiDgton, but was not 
returned at the last election. He is an 
energetic, ambitious man, understood to be 
not quite sound on the principle that the 
President of the Apostles is the natural 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


successor of the President of the Church. 
Mr. Cannon's duty on this occasion was 
limited to reading out the list of missionaries 
called to go forth and spread among the 
Gentiles the Gospel of Joseph Smith. This 
part of the proceedings was summed up in the 
Gentile local paper the following day, by the 
statement that " eighty-one Mormon tramps 
are to be let loose next week on the United 
States and Europe." But a great fact is not 
to be ignored by a flippant adversary, and it 
struck me that this brief announcement 
formed the most striking part of the proceed- 

The men who were thus nominated to go 
forth to the ends of the earth and labour 
among hostile populations were of various 
ages and occupying diverse positions. There 
were old and young, married and single, but 
all sharing in common the necessity of earn- 
ing their living. If the command laid upon 
them had also involved the appropriation of a 
more or less snug salary, with expenses paid, 
it might in some cases have assumed a 
different aspect. But when men in the 
Mormon camp are suddenly called upon to 
leave father and mother, wife and children, 
business and home, they not only go forth 
without any provision in the way of monthly 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


or yearly pay, but they pay their own passage- 
money to the scene of their labours, and there 
live as they can. 

Of course, they may decline to go, and 
there are no means of active compulsion ; but 
probably a man who had been ordered to pack 
off at a week's notice, and who pleaded busi- 
ness or family ties, would have a bad time of 
it among the faithful. President Taylor told 
me excuses are very rarely offered, and only 
in extremest cases. The most common 
response to the command is an assurance that 
the newly nominated missionary will be ready 
to start within a week, or sooner if it be 
desired. Most Churches have missionaries, 
but I do not know any Church that exclu- 
sively has missionaries on these terms; and 
one that can command a constant supply will 
always be a power in the world. 

When Mr. Cannon had fired off his list, the 
congregation were asked whether they ap- 
proved it, and whether they would sustain 
those going forth by faith and prayer. Those 
who were in the afl&rmative were asked to hold 
up their right hand, at which invitation about 
a third of those present held up their hand. 
When the question was put in a contrary 
sense there were no supporters. So the mis- 
sionaries were unanimously, if not enthusias- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


tioally, nominated. A similarly listless cere- 
mony was gone through when, in accordance 
with custom at these half-yearly conferences, 
the whole of the officers, from the President 
downwards, had their names submitted for 
confirmation in office. This is purely a matter 
of form, designed with the object of tickling 
the popular palate with the notion, that though 
the President, Apostles, and Bishops sit in 
high places, they do so only at the royal 
pleasure of the populace ; but it is plain to 
see that this formula contains the seeds of a 
possible revolution. Nothing has hitherto 
happened to lead the people seriously to exer- 
cise their rights. A name or names have been 
submitted to them, and having no alternative, 
they have languidly approved. But crises in 
the history of a nation silently grow, and one 
may have birth which will see the Tabernacle 
filled with a crowd terribly in earnest. 

Just before the proceedings commenced 
the President, advancing to the desk, firmly 
proclaimed that silence must be kept. 

** If,'' he declared with all the weight of 
apostolic authority, '^ any of the babies cannot 
be kept quiet, they must be carried out." 

Hereupon there arose a wail of defiance 
from the assembled infants in arms, before 
which the President assumed his seat. It was 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


all very well to say the babies must be carried 
out — ^but where to begin ? To make a whole- 
sale raid upon them would have had as much 
appreciable eflfect as attempting to empty the 
Serpentine with a bucket. Accordingly, in 
spite of the high authority invoked, the babies, 
with the exception of the few prematurely 
choked, remained and wailed, their united 
voices frequently drowning that of the Pre- 
sident of the Apostles, and throughout the 
whole of his address and of others that followed 
prevented people beyond the middle of the 
hall hearing a single consecutive sentence. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 




Mr. John Taylor, President of the Mormon 
Church and State, lives in a fine house within 
a few minutes' walk of the Tabernacle. Brig- 
ham Young first selected this spot as a 
residence, living in earlier years in the Lion 
House immediately opposite. This house is 
so called because it has a plaster cast of a 
lion over the porch. It is a very inadequate 
lion in point of size ; but it is big enough 
to give the house a name, just as the cast of 
a bee-hive on the next door serves to name 
it. Both these houses are occupied by the 
family of the late Prophet. A much larger 
and showier house over the way, in which 
President Taylor lives, is popularly known as 
the Amelia Palace, the current impression 
being that it was specially built for Brigham 
Young's favourite wife. This is, however, a 
story resolutely denied by high authorities, it 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


being plainly contrary to the spirit of Mor- 
monism that one wife should be exalted above 
the rest. The Amelia theory is quietly 
ignored, and the house that has come to be 
recognized as the official residence of the 
President is, or should be, known as Garda 
House. It is a building of somewhat florid 
style, but is roomy and convenient. The 
drawing-room where the President courteously 
received me is a large double room facing the 
road. It had not about it the knicknacks and 
careful colouring of an English drawing-room, 
but it looked very comfortable with a large 
coal fire burning in an open grate. There 
were one or two oil paintings on the wall. 
Faust talking to Marguerite was the some- 
what striking subject of one which held the 
principal place. 

The President is about seventy years of 
age, but his tall, powerful figure shows little 
sign of advancing years. His hair, snow 
white, sets off a strong, kindly, and still ruddy 
face. Like all the officers of the Church, the 
President has earned his living by the sweat 
of his brow. Since he was elected to the 
Presidency he has, of course, given up his 
farm, a fixed salary being attached to his 
office. The tendency to pay officers of the 
Church appears to increase as the revenues 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


grow fatter. The Bishops, formerly voluntary 
workers, now, I understand, receive a small 
pecuniary acknowledgment of their labours. 
The revenues of the Church and State are 
drawn upon very simple principles. The 
system of tithes has answered all financial 
purposes in Utah. It is a kind of income tax 
at the unvarying rate of two shillings in the 
pound. Practically it comes to much more 
than that, since a tithe is taken not on the net 
income but on the gross produce. This seems 
a little heavy, and a remark dropped by one of 
the Apostles at the Conference hinted that 
tithes were not coming in so readily as they 
should. Mr. Taylor, however, assures me 
there is no difficulty in the matter. The tax 
is not compulsory. No process would issue if 
it were not forthcoming ; but I suspect that, 
as in the case of the missionary who might 
turn a deaf ear to the call to foreign parts, 
things would be made uncommonly hot for the 

The President furnished me with some 
interesting statistics of the present strength 
of the Mormon settlement. It consists of 
1 president, 11 apostles, 68 patriarchs, 3885 
seventies, 3153 high priests, 11,794 elders, 
1498 bishops, and 4409 deacons. As there 
are only 23,190 families, it will be seen that 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


there is about one and a fifth of this agglo- 
meration of dignities to each family. The 
total number of members is 127,294. There 
are, I was not surprised to hear, not less than 
37,754 children under eight years of age, of 
whom 2335 have been born within the last 
six months. During the same period there 
have been 339 marriages ; 2350 new members 
have been admitted within six months, whilst 
850 have passed awaj'', showing a decided 
increase in the strength of the Church. Of 
these absentees 85 have been excommuni- 
cated, generally, as I hear from another and 
Gentile source, after they have voluntarily 
withdrawn from membership. 

On the subject of marriages, the President 
spoke strongly and without reserve. He never 
used the word ** polygamy" except with the 
rider, ^' as the world calls it." Mr. Woodruff, 
in his address to the Conference, also declining 
to use the obnoxious word, described the 
practice as the patriarchal order of marriage. 
The President insisted that it was ^^ the order 
of celestial marriage." He anxiously ex- 
plained that, whilst the world made marriages 
for time, the Mormons married for eternity. 

** You marry," he said, *^ for better or for 
worse, till death do you part. Our marriages, 
made on earth, continue in heaven, and man 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


and wife shall live together hereafter as they 
are joined now." 

It did not seem to occur to him that this 
was not a prospect that would recommend 
itself in all households; but I did not open 
that view of the question. 

It is the practice of polygamy which makes 
Mormonism especially obnoxious in the eyes 
of the world, and it is on this that the Govern- 
ment of the United States has joined issue 
with the settlers. An Act has been passed 
declaring that all who lived or have lived in 
marital relation with more than one person, 
shall forfeit electoral rights. The Act was so 
worded as to strike at both sexes, the intention 
being to disfranchise Mormons and get the 
whole machinery of office in the Territory in 
the hands of the small minority of the Gentiles. 
After this, Mormonism might be harried out 
of Utah as it was thirty-seven years ago 
hounded out of Illinois. For the better carry- 
ing out of the purpose, commissioners ap- 
pointed under the Act were sent down to Utah, 
and prescribed an oath to be administered 
to all Mormons befo^re they are allowed to 
vote, requiring them to swear that they were 
not polygamists. This had the effect of keep- 
ing away thousands from the poll ; but that 
had no serious bearing upon the result, since 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


at the last election all the Mormon candidates 
were carried at the head of the poll by the 
vote of the one-wived saints. 

It is to a continuation of this condition of 
affairs that President Taylor looks to enable 
him to baffle the efforts of the United States 

^^If the worst comes to the worst/' he 
said, " we shall be able to carry on. Our 
population is yearly increasing, and we can 
always keep a sufficient number qualified by 
the United States law — should it be estab- 
lished as law — to carry everything. But we 
don't mean to let matters slide as far as that 
without a good fight." 

At the present time there are several cases 
pending in the Courts by which it has been 
determined to test the legality of the action of 
the United States. 

^^ Their Edmonds Act," the President said, 
''is ex post facto ^ and I do not know any 
civilized country where laws are deliberately 
so made. The United States say that every 
one who has entered into marital relations 
with more than one person shall be disfran- 
chised. Very well ; that is a good or a bad 
law, but in any case it can touch only cases, 
which arise after it has become law. Here 
there are tens of thousands of men who 

VOL. I. 8 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


entered into the state of celestial marriage 
years before this Act was passed. You can't 
go back on them and find them guilty of doing 
what was not declared illegal at the time 
of the Act. The Commissioners have gone 
even further. They have imposed an oath as 
a preliminary to a man or woman voting. 
But it is against the Constitution of the 
United States to impose a test oath in respect 
of the exercise of the franchise. Thus you 
have the Commissioners performing an illegal 
act under an unconstitutional law. That's a 
double plea we shall submit, if necessary, to 
the Supreme Court of the United States." 

The President spoke with .great bitterness 
of the allegation that the people of the United 
States were chiefly influenced in this crusade 
by love of morahty. Morality, he urged at 
some length, was best conserved by the 
peculiar institution of Mormonism. 

*' But look how this test oath works in the 
cause of morahty," he said. ^* There is in 
this city a gentleman of prominent position 
and blameless life who at one time, though 
now a widower, lived in a state of celestial 
marriage. His son was appointed registrar of 
the district, and when this Act was passed he 
informed his father that he could not con- 
scientiously enter his name on the register. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



The very same day a married man living in 
open adultery applied for registration, and no 
objection was taken. He, you see, was not 
living *in marital relation' with more than 
one woman. The United States, whilst strik- 
ing at our marriages, carefully leave scathe- 
less the man who keeps a mistress. About 
the same time a notorious woman at the head 
of her bagnio appUed to be registered, and, 
this moral law placing no bar in the way, it 
was done. So much for the morality side of 
the question." 

The President talks with quiet assurance 
of the future of Mormonism. The Church is 
increasing in numbers and the State in wealth. 
There is this cloud which rises over the 
United States and is even now bigger than a 
man's hand. 

** But," the President says, " we have 
always had trouble with the world, and things 
are not nearly so bad now as they were when 
the blood of Joseph Smith cried freshly from 
the ground, and we, driven out by Christians, 
went forth beyond the bounds of civilization 
to found a home and a nation. When I used 
to go out as a missionary and, tramping 
through some remote, unfriendly country, 
did not know where I should get a crust of 
bread for my supper or a covered comer in 

Digitized by CjOOQIC 


which to lay my head, I used to pray to God, 
and I always had enough to eat. That is 
what we do now in this time of trial. The 
world is against us, but we trust in God." 

"And keep our powder dry," I said, 
thinking of the skill with which the weak 
points in the armour of the tTnited States 
Legislature had been picked out for attack. 

"Yes; that is God's will," the President 
answered, in the grave, quiet tones he had 
spoken throughout. *^ We shall do our best, 
and never give up the fight as long as a man 
remains among us. But it will all be His 
direction, and with the consciousness that we 
are pleasing Him." 

I have throughout given the President's 
views in his own words ; but no description 
could convey a just idea of the quiet assurance 
and tone of simple confidence with which they 
were spoken. This Westmoreland yeoman 
evidently has faith of a kind that removes 
mountains ; and as it is in measure shared by 
all his people, the final struggle with Mor- 
monism, upon which the United States are 
bent, is likely to prove a tough one. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

( 117 ) 



Grapes at fivepence a pound are an early 
and satisfactory indication that we have left 
the bare brown Sierras behind us, and have 
reached a valley land flowing with milk and 
honey. Honey is mentioned here only be- 
cause it belongs to the quotation. I suppose 
it is made somewhere in the States, but I 
have not met with it on any table, nor any- 
where seen a beehive. But milk is abundant, 
and of a quality unknown in London. At the 
roadside station where grapes at fivepence a 
pound were dispensed by a benevolent negro 
wearing a snowy-white apron, milk stood in 
jugs on a table in company with most excel- 
lent custard and apple-tarts, large, flat, and 
round. The milk having been standing half 
an hour there was an inch of thick cream at 
the top, and what followed did not seem to 
have suffered from this concentration. Five- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


pence a glass was the price of the milk, but 
that had evidently less reference to its intrinsic 
value than to the habitude in this neighbour- 
hood of regarding ten cents as the lowest de- 
nomination of coin in which it is possible to 
deal. Everything cost ten cents — the grapes 
by the pound, the custard and apple-pie by the 
sUce, and the milk by the glass. In England 
fivepence for a glass of milk taken in a country 
place might be regarded as dear; but in a 
lordly California it was really a condescension 
on the part of the benevolent negro and his 
family to take so small a coin. Two days later 
in San Francisco one and eightpence was 
demanded and promptly paid for two glasses 
of thin milk and two half-rolls of plain bread. 

In truth, the United States is the dearest 
country in the world to travel in. I have 
made a careful computation, and find that a 
dollar, nominally valued at four shillings, will 
buy of the necessaries and luxuries of life 
exactly as much as a shilling will in England. 
Money is easily made here, wages are high, 
profits are large, and the country is full of men 
grown suddenly rich. A dollar here or there 
is a matter not worth the expenditure of time 
for its consideration. 

It is a broad, significant fact that a five- 
cent piece, value twopence-halfpenny, is 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


practically the lowest coin current in the 
States, and that it will sometimes buy for you 
what a penny would bring in a more effete 
country. There are, of course, cents; but 
except to buy stamps, and in New York an 
evening paper, you might as well be without 
them. Where the currency practically begins 
in everyday life is with the quarter, value one 
shilling. With these liberally dispensed on 
the sUghtest provocation one can get along 
comfortably through the httle needs and 
services of the day. 

Last night, strolling about the town, I 
stopped to hear a street hawker, who with 
leathern lungs and considerable humour was 
disposing of his wares. He was selling a 
parcel of plated jewellery and a pack of cards, 
the price being half a dollar. During the 
time I stood by he found at least twenty 
customers. No hawker in his senses would 
get up in the streets of London, or any other 
large English town, and attempt to sell things 
which he valued at two shillings. Sixpence 
would be a pretty high figure for such an 
audience as he would gather, and a penny a 
still more popular sum. Yet here in this Cali- 
fomian crowd two shillings were handed up 
almost as rapidly as he could pocket them. 
This is all very well for the Califomians, but 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


for slow-witted EngKshmen a too rapid suc- 
cession of experiences is apt to stun. 

An English gentleman in the city took 
his wife for a walk in the Chinese quarter. In 
a neat little cafe the lady drank a cup of tea, 
for which one dollar was demanded. After this 
the gentleman thought he would have his hair 
cut. On returning to his hotel he sent for the 
barber, who cut his hair, shaved, shampooed 
him, and charged him two dollars and a half ! 
It is true that in this case the gentleman was 
what the late Mr. G. P. K. James was wont to 
call ^' a belted earl." But making due allow- 
ance for that fact, ten and sixpence for cutting 
and shaving seems dear. 

San Francisco has sown its wild oats of '49, 
and is now one of the most staid cities in the 
States. The newspapers are quite tame as 
compared with the smaller sheets published 
east. For days, and even weeks, there has 
been no shooting, nor even any " holding up." 
On the day of my arrival I had what promised 
to be an opportunity of being present at a 
shooting match, a domestic institution which 
had hitherto eluded personal observation. Like 
Mr. Charles Kussell, who in his journeying 
over the States has been "just outside" of 
four railway accidents, I have been just too 
soon or too late for shootings, whether retail in 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


drinking saloons or wholesale in railway cars 
boarded in the dead of the night. Here was a 
chance not to be missed. The two men, stand- 
ing in the crowded streets, glared into each 
other's eyes like wild beasts. They cursed and 
swore, and threatened, and then, just where the 
pistols should have come in, one doubled his 
fist, and in commonplace English fashion 
knocked the other down. That was scarcely 
worth travelling six thousand miles to see, and 
must have spoken sadly to some veterans of 
the deterioration of the famous old mining 

The star of mining empire has moved 
north and east. Montana and Colorado now 
take the place that California once held in 
the mining world. There are still rich mines 
in the State, though their names are not 
known in the EngUsh market. 

"When we get a find," a Calif omian said 
to me with engaging frankness, " I guess we 
keep it and work it ourselves. The good- 
looking Bogus mine does just as well for 

On one of the spurs of the Sierra Nevada 
above Sacramento gold mining of curious 
fashion is visibly in progress. The rocks are 
not worth approaching in regular mining 
fashion. There is gold in them, but it must 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


be got cheaply to pay. So the miners convoy 
the mountain streams, condense their force 
into hoses, and bringing these to bear on 
the mountain-sides, literally wash away the 
rock. You can see it as you pass on the rail- 
way, grey or rich red, according to the forma- 
tion of the stone, but everywhere with a 
curiously pained surprised air, as of an old 
gentleman who has had his wig suddenly and 
unaccountably snatched off, disclosing bare 
places. Of course the aspect of the country 
is ruined wherever it has been played upon 
by this titanic hose. Worse still, from a 
practical point of view, the dSbris washing 
down is filling up the Sacramento river, and 
making the people of Sacramento exceeding 

^^ What business have you up there ? " 
they angrily ask the miners. 

*'What are you doing down there?" the 
miners carelessly reply. 

The question of right has been referred to 
a com't of law, and a very knotty question it 
will prove for the judges. 

The old miners of '49, who wore flannel 
shirts, boots innocent of blacking, and pistols 
always loaded, have departed from San Fran- 
cisco as completely as the Dutch have died 
out from New York. But their successors 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


are as ready, as capable, and as enterprising. 
There are some giants of finance and engineer- 
ing who dwell in palaces at San Francisco, 
all self-made men, and in the first generation 
honestly proud of this distinction. The 
coming generation, bom into their inheritance, 
are steadily and determinately striding into 
other grooves, wherein their sons and daughters 
will carelessly slide, kid-gloved, with dresses 
from Paris, coats and boots from England, 
and with some secret scorn for the rough- 
handed, hard-headed men who founded their 
fortunes, and for the stout dames their grand- 
mothers, who took in washing. 

If there were an American Mr. Smiles, 
he would find in San Francisco stirring 
material for fresh volumes illustrative of self- 
help. The history of the making of the 
Central Pacific Eailroad has yet to be told. 
It would be difl&cult to find a story fuller of 
pluck' and skill, of successful battling with 
apparently insuperable obstacles, human and 
divine. The career of Mr. Crocker supplies 
a narrative which is the story of half a dozen 
of the richest men in California. He began 
life (and to his great honour is not chary of 
the reminiscence) as a labourer in a mine, 
marrying in his own station of Hfe. When 
opportunity came he seized it by the hair 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


■with both hands, and beginning to prosper in 
small ways, went on to greater deeds till to- 
day he is a tenfold millionaire, ranking high 
even in the scale of California. Working in 
conjunction with four or five men of his own 
standing, they control all the public works 
and possibilities of making money in the 
State. They buUd railways, found steamship 
lines, work mines, own banks, and monopolize 
financial transactions in which they add to 
their millions, whilst the public is more or less 
well satisfied with its bargain. If they chose 
to fight each other there would be a struggle 
worthy of the gods, and the public would 
benefit. They know better than that. They 
join their forces and " pool their earnings." 

The English reader of American news- 
papers will constantly find references to 
some man or some combination obtaining a 
"control" of a railway system, a bank, or 
some commercial undertaking or pubUc con- 
cern. The miUionaires of San Francisco, 
working amicably in the task of milking of 
the common cow, have obtained the " control " 
of everything within reach in the State. 
People grumble ; but what can they do ? 
The combination is perfectly legal, though 
it has some awkward resemblance to a knock- 
out at an auction. It is open for an outsider 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


to tid, and the liighest bidder buys. But it 
would be hard to compete with a millionaire. 
It is hopeless to cope with half a dozen 
making common cause and opening a common 
purse. They are not only rich, but they 
retain the sagacity and the boldness that 
made them rich, and, their purse apart, they 
would be tough customers to deal with. 
Their latest feat in a local way dealt with the 
street tramways that are the wonder and 
the pride of San Francisco. Watching their 
time, they swept down on the Market Street 
route. They bought it up with a cheque 
for 1,800,000 dollars. Now they have floated 
on a trustful public bonds for 3,000,000, 
showing on this single transaction a profit of 
1,200,000 dollars. 

The system of street tramways in vogue 
here seems to me to solve the question of 
motive power for this kind of traction. 
Kecent experiments with a view to introduce 
the cable cars in the Highgate Koad have 
made Hallidie's system, partially at least, 
known in London. San Francisco is its 
birthplace, and here it is working with the 
greatest ease and the fullest measure of 
public benefit. The suburbs of San Francisco 
stretch themselves over steep hills which 
it would seem were inaccessible by ordinary 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


modes of locomotion. But land grew in- 
creasingly dear in the neighbourhood of the 
city. These hills once clambered are salu- 
brious and afford splendid views. They 
were accordingly built upon, and men and 
horses laboriously crawled up the heights. 
Necessity here proved the mother of invention, 
and as there was in existence no convenient 
way of getting up these terrible stairs the 
cable street tram had its birth. 

There is something eerie at first sight of 
these heavily laden cars running up a grade 
of one in five at the rate of seven miles an hour, 
and without any visible means of propulsion. 
There is neither smoke of engine nor clatter 
of horse-hoof on the highway. At a central 
spot the steam-engine hauls on the endless 
cable. The cable itself is buried underneath 
the track along which the trams pass, and 
only careful inspection can guess at any 
means of communication between it and 
the car. As far as the pubHc, who pay their 
twopence-halfpenny for a ride, are concerned, 
there is nothing but a comfortably seated 
car, moving smoothly along iron rails faster 
than a hansom cab, which can be pulled up to 
a dead stop in half the space of time required 
by an ordinary tram, and which will go up 
hill or down dale with equal facility. The 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


original cost of the machinery is considerable, 
but it is also the last, there being no charges 
for horse renewals and very few for road main- 
tenance. I was told that the cable cars here 
earn a ten per cent, dividend, and judiciously 
pay eight. 

Whilst with the advance of civilization 
and the effacement of the rough pioneers by 
the new generation who ape the manners of 
London society, many of the former character- 
istics of San Francisco have disappeared, the 
city retains a notable one in the matter of 
earthquakes. Having peacefully gone to bed 
at midnight, we were awakened an hour later 
by an unmistakable shaking of the gigantic 
structure known as the Palace Hotel. The 
building rocked in a painfully distinct manner, 
as if the god Thor, walking past to take his 
early bath in the Pacific, had placed his hand 
on the cornice of the roof and playfully shaken 
the house. There are various estimates of 
the duration of the shock. To my mind the 
impression conveyed was that it lasted whilst 
you could count ten, and that it ceased as 
suddenly and as absolutely as it had com- 
menced. There was a distinct movement 
outward of the building, a fierce rattHng of 
the windows, a rushing noise in the air ; then 
the house settled back, the rattling ceased. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


the stillness of the night resumed its sway, 
and everything was as if the earthquake had 
not been. 

One other strange matter was the unhesi- 
tating certainty with which strangers wholly 
unfamiliar with the phenomenon knew what 
it was. You may take your first terrapin 
without knowledge or suspicion that you have 
entered upon a new and distinct phase of 
gastronomy. But there's no mistaking your 
first earthquake, it being one of the few 
matters in which knowledge comes without 

. Society in San Francisco, as far as I was 
privileged to mix in it, is of a hearty, hospit- 
able order, the older, simpler habits of the 
pioneers leavening the affectations of the 
younger branches of the family who, after 
the discovery of the Bonanza or other big 
boom, went off to visit London and the city 
they call Parss. I noted the disappearance 
of those titles which formerly indicated the 
yearning of the Kepublican mind for social 
distinction. In all San Francisco I did not 
meet a single judge, and only one colonel. 
This was a bullet-headed young man with 
a moustache inadequate for military training, 
who was noteworthy in other ways as a type 

of the new social birth now in steady progress 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


in San Francisco. The *' Colonel'* is a well- 
meaning, smart young fellow, with a keen eye 
to business, ludicrous only in the thirst for 
some means of presenting himself to the 
pubKc other than as plain Mr., who goes 
down to an office, sits on a stool, and looks 
after railways, mines, and common workaday 
things of that kind. It would be hard to give 
up this occupation, since it brings in dollars 
by the thousand, and sometimes by the half- 
milKon. But out of office hours it would be 
nice to wear tight trousers and a coat of 
military cut, and to strut about as nearly as 
possible in the style of the officers up on the 
Eeservation. So one morning, by some myste- 
rious birth-process, ^'Colonel" was in- 
troduced to San Francisco, which receives 
him with good-natured laughter and kindest 
forbearance of the little foible. As wealth 
grows, this type flourishes, and thus an 
aristocracy grows up out of the rank luxury- 
made possible by the labour and inspiration of 
the men who came here any time during the 
last thirty-five years with all their worldly 
goods in their wallet. 

As yet no great harm is done. San Fran- 
cisco is still too practical and too busy money- 
making to be seriously influenced by the 
" colonel " type. It is too busy even to drive 

VOL. I. 9 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

130 fiAST BY WEST, 

with great regularity through the park out to 
the beach, or round through the Military 
Eeservation; which is a pity, for there are 
few cities, whether in the Old World or the 
New, that have a fairer possession. The 
Eeservation is an enclosed track of ground 
open to the pubUc, and much frequented, since 
the roads are in excellent condition and skil- 
fully graded. When we drove through, a gang 
of military prisoners were at work, surrounded 
by a cordon of watchful sentries, musket on 
shoulder. The officers' quarters are very 
prettily situated, forming rows of rustic 
cottages, with bright flower-gardens and 
trimly kept lawns of freshest green. These 
oases of green lawn are very striking. At this 
season of the year trees and vegetation alike 
are at their utmost gasp for existence. It is 
months since rain fell, and what were green 
fields in the spring are now bare patches of 
brown earth, with here and there hapless 
tufts of hay showing themselves. It is hard to 
believe, looking down a far-reaching stretch of 
brown scorched earth, that in the spring this 
is a bank bright with lupin and other wild 
flowers. But such is the case, and so will it 
be again when the rain comes. 

In the officers' quarters, and by all the 
magnificent houses on Nob's Hill and in Van 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Ness Avenue, the lawns are kept ever green 
by a pretty and useful device which, though 
not unknown, is not common in England. 
This is a, movable fountain, consisting of an 
upright iron pipe, fed by an india-rubber hose. 
At the top there is a horizontal arrangement 
of small pipes, perforated after the manner of 
a rose in a water-can. These revolve with 
the force of the water projected through them, 
and diffuse a fine soft shower of rain. When 
one section of the lawn is sufficiently watered, 
the fountain is moved to another — it can be 
lifted with one hand — so the rain is always 
falling and the grass ever blooming. 

The park was originally a waste of sand- 
hills. Outside it the sandhills reassert their 
supremacy, and lead down to the sea by rich 
masses of yellows and brown. It is a favourite 
expedition, both for strangers and citizens, to 
drive out to Cliff Home and watch the seals 
playing on the rocks. They are always there, 
floundering up or slipping off with a plunge 
into the cool depths, and incessantly grunting. 
There is one habitue of vast proportions in 
whom popular fancy traces resemblance to 
General Butler. As we sat and watched, a 
fisherman's boat slowly paddled past the 
cluster of brown rocks, and with excited cries 
the seals sUd off into the sea. It was pretty 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


to see old Ben Butler sUghtly turning his 
stupendous carcase so as to bring his weather- 
eye to bear upon the cause of the disturbance. 
When he saw what it was he gave a little 
grunt, settled himself in a more comfortable 
position, and lazUy watched the flutter among 
the younger members of the community. Be- 
yond the grunt, Ben offered no remark audible 
on shore. But when he resettled himself 
others, preparing to move, resumed their 
places, and some of those excitedly swimming 
round the edge of the rocks returned reassured. 
It was evident that on the rock in the far 
West, as in Massachusetts in the far East, 
there was a general impression that Ben 
Butler might be safely trusted to look after 

All day whilst the sun shines the seals 
play here. To the north stands Tamalpais, 
with wreath and white mist at its feet, and 
its head clothed in purple and golden brown, 
reaching far up in the blue sky. By here 
stands the Golden Gate, and beyond it the 
Pacific, breaking in white surf on the shore 
to the southward, and to the westward 
nothing between us and Asia but a wilderness 
of blue water. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

( 183 ) 




The question of labour, always a pressing one 
in the United States, is just now accentuated 
in California and the bordering States whioli 
have been accustomed to look for service to 
the Chinese. For twenty-five years the 
Chinese have flooded California, and have 
been principal and indispensable factors in 
its rapid prosperity. Without the Chinese, 
California would be ten years behind the stage 
it has now reached. These smug-faced, pig- 
tailed immigrants have built the railways, 
made the roads, laboured in the mines, nursed 
the babies, and washed the clothes for Cali- 
fornia. It is in the character of washerman 
that the Chinaman is most familiar to cursory 
information in England. But there is nothing 
he cannot do. His faculty and facility for 
labour are immeasurable, and whatever he 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



does he accomplishes with the thoroughness 
that comes of patient industry. 

It is not difficult to understand how the 
presence of such a class should be distasteful 
to the Western working man. Even if the 
competition were on even terms, it would be 
hard to fight against this dexterous industrious 
class. But the Chinaman has an enormous 
advantage over the ordinary labourer, whether 
of EngKsh, Irish, German, or American birth. 
The Western man must have his three stout 
meals a day, with corresponding proportion of 
drink. The Chinaman can Kve on food the 
cost of which is almost hterally infinitesimal. 
A bowl of rice, a square inch or two of dried 
fish, with, on the birthday of Confucius or 
some other gala day, a sausage fearfully and 
wonderfully made, suffice to meet his needs in 
the way of solid food ; whilst a bowl of the 
water in which the rice has been boiled, or a 
pannikin of tea, taken without sugar or milk, 
comes up to his notion of what is necessary in 
the way of liquor. The ultimate basis of the 
rate of wages is the expenditure at which a 
man can support life. With a Chinaman this 
is a sHding scale reducible almost to the 
vanishing point. If the Western workman 
can live upon a dollar a day the Chinaman 
wiU manage on fifty cents. If in hard times 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


the Western workman drops down to three 
shillings, the Chinaman grows fat on eighteen- 
penoe, and as he can flourish on sixpence a 
day it is evident the Western workman has 
no chance in the competition. 

This is a condition of affairs which has for 
twenty years agitated California. It always 
came up at election times, and the Western 
working man, the small shopkeepers who live 
by him, and whatever class could be influenced 
by him and them, sank all poUtical questions 
in this social one, marching together under a 
banner on which was written " The Chinaman 
must go." There came a time when some 
shrewd poUticians, seeing their opportunity, 
presented themselves as leaders of this noisy 
crusade, and a Bill was triumphantly carried 
through Congress closing the Golden Gate 
against the Chinaman. In a Republic whose 
watchword is liberty and equality a law was 
passed declaring that for ten years no China- 
man should enter the United States. This 
was little more than a year ago, and already 
the shoe is beginning to pinch. The import 
of Chinamen was not so overwhelming as 
would appear upon the face of it. There 
were always two streams flowing, one in- 
ward and the other outward. The China- 
man had no abiding city in California. It 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


was a kind of El Dorado, where wages at 
the rate of thirty dollars a month were to 
be picked up, with incredible margin for 
savings. When these accumulated to the 
extent of from three hundred to five hundred 
dollars, the wanderer's heart, untrammelled, 
fondly turned to home, and the Chinaman 
went back. 

This is a process still going on, but with an 
important variation of conditions. The drain 
of homeward-bound Chinamen continues, and 
there are none coming in. The Califomians 
are big men, and can do great things; but 
they cannot successfully war against the prin- 
ciples of political economy. Having stopped 
the supply, the natural growth of demand 
increases, and the consequence is that the 
Chinese remaining in California are becoming 
masters of the situation. There was always 
employment and to spare whilst the labour 
market was constantly supplied by fresh drafts 
from Hong Kong. Still, if a Chinaman was 
not found suitable, or if he demanded too high 
wages, there were others to be had. Now 
there are not, and the situation is every month 
growing more strained. The fortunate China- 
men who found themselves in California at 
the time the prohibition of immigration was 
decreed are fully alive to the personal advan- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


tages secured for them. They are raising 
their demand for wages, and are forming 
amongst themselves an association akin to 
the EngKsh trades unions, through which 
by the agency of strikes they can absolutely 
control the labour market. 

It is clear that employers of labour of all 
grades, from those who engage one or two 
domestic servants to the firms who have 
thousands of men on their wage list, will be 
heavily taxed. But there is something even 
worse behind, and that is the absolute im- 
possibility of getting labour at any price. 
The Central Pacific Eailway, to mention one 
illustration which has come under my personal 
observation, are extending their system north- 
ward to Oregon. When this was projected 
they naturally looked to the Chinese for the 
services already performed in the matter of 
their main line. In the meantime this not- 
able piece of legislation is accomplished, and 
the prospect before the company is dismally 

*' We want labour," one of the directors said 
to me in despairing tones, ''and it's not here.'' 

Thirty dollars a month and board is the 
ordinary rate of wages paid for railway work. 
That was pretty well, seeing that a man might 
save nearly every penny. But in vain is it 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


now cried aloud in the market-place, and since 
the works must be completed, no one can say- 
to what lengths the organized demand of the 
shrewd Chinee may not go. Here is a copy, 
in all except the large type and the notes of 
admiration, of a supplicatory appeal spread 
broadcast through Denver at the time I was 
there. I took it off a bundle tied to a street 
lamp-post : — 

** Wanted, five hundred labourers for the 
Denver and Southern Pacific Kailroad at 
Leadville. Wages, two dollars twenty-five 
cents a day ; board, five dollars a week. Nice 
new camp, good places to sleep, and good 
board. The contractors are one of the oldest 
and best firms in the country, and their camps 
are first-class in every particular. Pay cash ; 
no discount on time checks. Free transporta- 
tion to the work. Be at the Union Depot 
baggage-room with your blankets at seven this 

It has come to this already, that 9s. a 
day is offered to railway navvies, with liberal 
arrangements for boarding them at the rate of 
about 25. lOd. a day. But the bait drew only 
a few score men, and is hanging out again in 
Denver and other approaches to Leadville. 
Whilst the Exclusion Bill was being forced 
through Congress its supporters urged that if 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


only the Chinese were dispossessed, then the 
honest down-trodden Western workman would 
lift up his head, justice would be done, and all 
would be well. But the European workman 
has never in the past been numerically equal 
to the needs of the robust and lusty West, and 
he will not be so in any visible future. It is 
the Chinese who have made California, as the 
insignificant insect builds up the coral reef, 
and it is as if the future growth and advance 
of the structure had been sagaciously promoted 
by stamping out the insects. 

*^ You've heard of the man who cut off his 
nose to spite his face? " asked the despairing 
director of the Central Pacific. ^^ Well, I 
guess he lives in California." 

Labour was dear enough throughout the 
States before prices in the West received this 
extraordinary impetus. The Enghsh employer 
would be aghast at the wages paid for all kinds 
of labour, skilled or otherwise. To mention 
the class which will appeal to the widest range 
of sympathies, what does the English matron 
think of paying fourteen shillings a week for 
a so-called housemaid, and sixteen shillings 
for a self-styled cook, admittedly ^^ plain"? 
Forty pounds a year is by no means extrava- 
gant for a good cook, and is not infrequently 
paid in London. But there are cooks and 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


cooks, and the average kind who here draw 
this sum in ordinary households in New York 
and Boston is generally the Irishwoman who 
in English towns would go as sole servant in 
small households at wages averaging from JB12 
to i616 a year. 

Of the general character of domestic 
servants, better known as *^ helps" in this 
country, some idea will be gathered from 
mention o'f the fact, possibly by no means un- 
common, that a lady friend in San Francisco 
told me she had had eighteen servants in a 
month. One other straw which shows the 
way the wind blow, is indicated in the ad- 
vertisements of servants out of situations. 
The servant question is sore enough with us ; 
but at least a cook or housemaid advertising 
for a place will condescend to call upon the 
employer. Here, when Mary Anne advertises 
for a place, she invariably closes her announce- 
ment with the curt injunction, ^* Call at Blank 
Street, between such and such hours.' ' There, 
seated in her room, at the hour most con- 
venient to herself, Mary Anne will look at her 
proposed mistress, and sometimes, if in the 
humour, will engage herself. 

I have been much struck in travelling 
about^ to find electro-plated knives provided 
for cutting— or, to be more exact, for tearing — 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


meat at meals. The reason when discovered 
is very simple. Steel knives want constant 
and laborious cleaning on the board, or with a 
machine, and the help declines to clean them, 
just as she imperatively refuses to polish boots. 
Electro-plated knives are a little disappointing 
with a beefsteak or a chop ; but they are 
easily cleaned, and so we have them. 

The question of '' Sunday out," discussed 
on pretty equal terms in England, is settled on 
simple principles by the American help. He 
or she goes out when he or she pleases, and 
sometimes does not come back. The other 
night a stranger called upon one of the mag- 
nates of Menlo Park with a letter of intro- 
duction. Dinner was just over, but the hos- 
pitable Calif ornian insisted upon having a 
meal served for the new-comer. Presently 
a hitch arose. The butler, who had been 
around a few minutes before, had disappeared, 
and nothing was heard of him till the next day, 
when he sent for his clothes. He was a man 
of orderly habits, accustomed and willing to 
attend at one dinner per evening ; but when 
it came to two, the second suddenly sprung 
upon him, he felt he could not sanction by his 
presence so gross an outrage upon principle. 
So he put on his hat, drew on his gloves, and 
went his way. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Looking down the column of a daily paper 
where '* Female Help" is '^Wanted," I find 
two waitresses wanted for a country hotel, one 
at £60 and the other at £72 a year; two 
Protestant chambermaids for a first-class 
private family, wages offered, £60 a year ; a 
French or Scandinavian cook, £84 ; a general 
servant, £72. German cooks are worth £72 ; 
French nurses, £60 ; whilst a firm advertises 
boldly for a hundred general servants, offering 
wages from £60 to £72 a year. These figures 
speak more eloquently than a chapter of ex- 
planation. They show that the domestic 
servant here has the whip-hand, and the 
Chinese Exclusion Act has added another 
thong to the whip. 

One class of employers upon whom the 
labour famine tells with fatal results is the 
proprietor, large or small, of vineyards and 
fruit farms. These last are a marvel to the 
Englishman accustomed to the orchards of 
Herefordshire, Devonshire, or the gardens 
of Kent. Just before reaching Oakland, on 
the way to San Francisco, the train passes 
a fruit farm which seems miles in length, and 
is certainly many acres. Though the scale is 
gigantic, everything is as trim as an English 
orchard. The trees are all planted in far- 
reaching avenues, and the grass is kept closely 

Digitized by 



cropped. This farm grows peaches by the 
million, and there comes a time when the 
fruit must be gathered or spoiled. It is 
the same in the vineyards, and between the 
two there springs up in the autumn an urgent 
cry for labour which .has hitherto been pretty 
fairly met by the Chinese. 

Now this source of supply is cut off, and 
the proprietors are in despair. Many of them, 
taking a look ahead, are already disposing of 
their property. They know that the tendency 
of things is to grow worse rather than better, 
and they are clearing out whilst there is yet 
a market for what has hitherto been amongst 
the best-paying property in the State. Some 
autumn, perhaps next year, there will be a 
great crop of fruit and no one to gather it, 
which will mean ruin for the proprietors. 

It would be a fatal mistake for the British 
workman to suppose that these high wages 
mean the full measure of competence that 
appears on the face of them. As far as 
domestic servants are concerned they are dis- 
counted only by the enhanced price of clothing ; 
but for the ordinary working man who has 
to keep himself and his family the difference 
between his lot and that of his English brother 
who earns fewer shillings a week is not great. 
Everything is dearer — chouse rent, clothing, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


and most of the necessaries of life. It is said 
that food is cheaper than in England, and it 
is difficult to imagine how meat and flour can 
cost as much to the American working pian 
when America is one of the great sources of 
supply for Great Britian. Doubtless in some 
of the Central and Western States meat is 
bought cheaper for the household than in 
rural districts in England ; but, taking New 
York as the largest centre of population, and 
comparing it with London, Liverpool, Man- 
chester, and other hives of working-man life, 
it is not so. 

I had the opportunity of making inquiries 
of the managers of two large households, one 
in Brooklyn and the other in New Jersey, and 
found the prices of butcher's meat almost 
identical with those paid in a London house- 
hold. In New Jersey mutton was a little 
cheaper, but by way of compensation vege- 
tables were considerably dearer. For example, 
a cauliflower which would cost sixpence in 
London was not to be purchased in Brooklyn 
under a shilling. The reason for this in this 
particular neighbourhood was the same that 
prevails all over the States. Labour is dear, 
and as it costs nearly twice as much to 
grow a cauliflower in the neighbourhood of 
New Jersey as it does in the market gardens 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


round London, cauliflowers are doubled in 

Here we get into the vicious circle through, 
which domestic life moves in the United 
States. Labour is dear because the labourer 
when he takes his money to market finds 
that a shilling will not buy more than eight- 
pence, or in some transactions sixpence, will 
in Free Trade England. The articles that 
labour produces are dear because the labourer 
must have the difference made up to him in 
cash. It is like taking money out of one 
pocket and putting it in the other, reversing 
the unprofitable process and pursuing it indefi- 
nitely. The only class who make a clear gain 
are the manufacturers, and they grumble 
because they have to pay the higher wages 
created by the artificial restraint of Pro- 

The great school of Free Trade in the 
United States is the Custom House at New 
York. If it were possible for the whole popu- 
lation of the States to pass through the insti- 
tution in a single year, and to remain in the 
frame of mind in which they leave it. Protec- 
tion would be hustled out of the country within 
twelve months. When a man comes to pay 
thirty-three per cent, duty on a supply of 
clothing or boots that he has brought from 

VOL. L 10 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


England, he begins to doubt the soundness of 

Things are made badly and priced exorbi- 
tantly in America, because the manufacturer 
has the consumer in a comer. He must either 
buy his goods, go without, or import them 
from Europe, paying the heavy fine imposed 
at the Custom House. It is a bitter reflection 
on American manufactures, and a striking 
commentary on the working of a system of 
arbitrary restriction of competition, that when- 
ever an American gets the chance, he adopts 
the last course. A fellow-passenger on the 
Britannic brought with him for a relative, 
a well-known senator and stout champion of 
Protection, six pairs of boots, for which he 
had paid the fancy price of i62 IO5. a pair. 
To this was added a Customs impost of one- 
third ; and yet the senator found it worth 
while to buy his boots in London, and, com- 
fortably and stoutly shod, will in the coming 
Presidential campaign angrily denounce Free 
Traders and eloquently plead for the Protection 
o American manufactures. 

Another passenger had made a pilgrimage 
to Coventry, ordered a bicycle, paid freight 
and Customs duty, and found the bargain 
better than anything he could do in the 
United States, The keeper of a gambling- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


house at Leadville, the same who boasted of 
his tiles imported from Minton's, told me he 
had a pair of riding-breeches made in England. 
These lasted him five years. Giving out 
fourteen months ago, he bought another pair 
of American manufacture, which were already- 
worn out, and he was wondering how he could 
get a fresh supply from England. Advocates 
of Protection admit all this, but see in it only 
a fresh argument against Free Trade. 

*' If we abolish protection," they say, '^ our 
manufactories must shut up. They cannot 
compete with England. Our manufacturers 
would all go bankrupt, and we should be driven 
to rely entirely upon agriculture.*' 

There are some Americans who take 
another view, and believe that if Free Trade 
were adopted, the cost of living would decrease, 
the demand for wages would have a corre- 
sponding fall, and the American manufacturer, 
no longer pampered, and having cheap labour 
at his command, would go in for making the 
best and cheapest article, and would succeed. 
But this class is in the minority, and the 
era of Free Trade in the United States is still 
afar off. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 




An inconvenience inseparable from the dis- 
tances run on American railways is the 
variation of time. Going West one's watch is 
always slowing ; going East it gains — a diffi- 
culty that might be grappled with if it stood 
alone. But there is superadded the uncer- 
tainty as to what time prevails in the connect- 
ing-link of railway with which you are specially 
concerned. There was much disgust expressed 
in the British section of a Denver train at the 
discovery made, on reference to the time-table, 
that the Denver and Eio Grande EaUway 
dehvered its passengers at Ogden a quarter of 
an hour after the Central Pacific train had 
gone on to San Francisco. On arriving at 
Ogden it was found that, on the contrary, 
there was a good hour to spare for breakfast, 
the simple explanation being that at Ogden 
San Francisco time is taken up, whereas we 
had been running on Denver time. . 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


I used to have a great pity for the people 
living at Pontarlier, the frontier town, where 
French time is exchanged for the Swiss. 
Between Vheure de Paris and Vheure de 
Bernej set forth on the same clock-face by 
combination of red and black hands, it seemed 
that life could scarcely be worth living. But 
Pontarlier is not a patch on Ogden, where the 
waiting-room at the railway station is crowded 
with clocks, giving the various times upon 
which divers trains will run. It would not be 
difficult to drive a man mad, supposing he 
were called up in the morning by New Tork 
time, had his breakfast by Washington time, 
lunched at San Francisco time, had a cup of 
five-o'clock tea by the Boston clock, dined at 
the Chicago hour, and went to bed at Laramie 
time. He would gratefully be buried either at 
St. Louis time or Omaha, whichever struck 
first. At Ogden, trains running west are ruled 
by San Francisco time, which is 3h. 2m. slower 
than Washington time ; 3h. 26m. than Boston ; 
3h. 14m. than New York; 2h. 20m. than 
Chicago ; 2h. 9m. than St. Louis ; Ih. 46m. 
than Omaha ; Ih. 14m. than Laramie ; and 
42m. slower than Ogden time. 

The pubHc inconvenience arising from this 
penalty of geographical greatness has long 
occupied the attention of the railway mana- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


gers. It is growing in pressure since the 
railway system is branching out and every 
little line has its local time. A characteris- 
tically bold scheme has been put forward to 
abolish the Old- World clock dial, and have 
one worthy of the United States. Why 
should the computation of time stop at twelve 
o'clock, when there are twenty-four hours in 
the day ? Why not have thirteen o'clock and 
even twenty-four o'clock? These startling 
questions have been put before the intelligent 
public, and have been received with much 
favour. If the French Eepublicans changed 
the names of the months and the course of 
years, why should not a greater and more 
stable Eepublic have its own clock- dial ? The 
proposal was tempting, but it had to be 
resisted by reason of the same extension of 
longitude that is at the bottom of the whole 
difficulty. When it is twenty-four o'clock 
(Anglice midnight) at Boston it would be 
about half-past eight in the evening in San 
Francisco. Must San Francisco be put to 
bed immediately after dinner, or must Boston 
sit up till what would be half-past three in the 
morning ? 

Whatever the Eepublic might decree, the 
sun would remain master of the situation; 
and the national sun-dial scheme, gravely put 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


forward by the Pennsylvania Eailway Com- 
pany, had to be abandoned. A much more 
modest one is now practically approved by the 
railway managers, and will shortly come into 
operation. The breadth of the States will be 
divided into four parallels, starting from the 
east by New York time, by which in the first 
parallel all trains of whatever company will 
run. In the second parallel the trains will 
run on a system of time dated an hour later ; 
a second hour will be accounted for in the third 
parallel; and at Ogden, San Francisco time, 
making up the balance, will prevail. 

The delay in American trains is truly Con- 
tinental in its proportions. In England it is 
regarded as a serious matter if a train on a 
main line is half an hour late. To lose an 
hour waiting for a train is an event the rarity 
of which is marked by much strong language 
on the part of the sufferers. Arriving at Salt 
Lake City from Denver, we were four hours 
late, and starting next day from Ogden by the 
Central Pacific, we had to wait three hours and 
a half for the arrival of the Union Pacific from 
the East. From Ogden to San Francisco is over 
eight hundred miles, a run in which there are 
possibilities of making up the loss of time, more 
especially when the average speed is twenty 
miles an hour. On this journey it was done, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


and we reached San Francisco "on time." 
But this is not always the case, as appears 
from the Denver journey quoted, the through 
passengers from the West missing their train, 
and heing compelled to stop at Ogden all night. 

Slow running is not always an unmixed 
evil, as we learned on the Denver line. Ap- 
proaching, after midnight, one of the stations, 
a switch which should have been closed was 
left open, and a serious accident made 
possible. Owing, however, to the slow pace, 
only the engine and the baggage car got off 
the line, and the passengers in the Pullman 
car slept on unconscious of the danger averted. 

As compared with Enghsh trains, the 
American cars, with their open gangways and 
the possibilities of moving about, are vastly 
superior for the work they have to do. To 
travel a thousand miles at a stretch cooped up 
in an English first-class carriage would be 
intolerable. In the Pullman cars a run of a 
thousand miles, travelling day and night, is a 
mere incident of the week, and you leave the 
cars as fresh as when you entered. One day 
we saw the sun rise over the Eocky Mountains, 
and watched it sink behind the grey, sandy 
plains that lie about Salt Lake City — a long 
journey as hours are counted, but actually 
wearisome neither to body nor mind. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


This railway journey from Salida across 
the Eooky Mountains is perhaps the most 
heautiful in either world, New or Old. At a 
quarter-past four o'clock in the morning the 
train was due, but it was nearly five before it 
steamed out of the station and breasted the 
steep ascent of the Marshall Pass. The stars 
were still shining in the deep blue sky. In 
the east, breaking over a purple ridge of moun- 
tain, the dark blue was paling to pearl grey. 
Presently there was a faint tinge of colour, 
changing as we looked to sulphur, and on 
through grades of infinite beauty to gold and 
crimson. Then the sun shone clear over the 
mountain-tops, and hill and dale, field, stream, 
and sky took on a beauty that mocks descrip- 
tion. After winding in and out, round capes 
and over chasms, we came to one of the many 
canons which make railway engineering pos- 
sible over these great divides. 

Imagine a narrow gorge with towering 
sides of rock, a tiny river rushing through, 
sometimes emerald green where the sunlight 
caught it in quiet depths, but oftener a mass 
of foam and spray, leaping over grey rocks in 
its haste to reach the plain. The mountains 
on either side rise sheer up a clear thousand 
feet of bare rock, grey and brown and red. A 
turn in the canon shows hills of softer shape^ 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


with here and there veins of brushwood of 
brilliant crimson. There hang over the 
stream graceful trees, unknown in England, 
with delicate fohage like maidenhair fern, of 
every shade of colour, from deepest gold to 
daintiest green. Through the gorge, winding 
at every few yards, the train glides along at a 
pleasant driving pace, giving time to enjoy all 
the beauty spread abroad. Nearly always we 
have the river, for which and the track there 
is just room enough in the cafion. All through 
the long morning the crisp mountain air is 
full of sunshine, and even when the sun goes 
down and the moon and the stars come out 
over the plains there is a deep blue sky 
framing the ever varying picture. 

At midnight on the far horizon towards 
which we were speeding a new and startling 
light flamed forth. It was too low to be a 
constellation, and out of the way of the aurora 
borealis. As we drew nearer it spread in 
extent, and the smoke about it began to form 
a cloud. It looked like a burning city ; but it 
was only a stubble field, and this was one of 
the peaceful processes of Western agriculture. 
In this happy land straw is not worth the 
trouble of reaping. The heads of corn are cut 
off close, and the straw left standing. When 
it is thoroughly dried a match is applied, the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


straw burnt np, and the ground is ready for 
the plough. 

It is a matter of great regret to travellers 
that Mr. Baedeker rests on his laurels earned 
in Europe, and forbears to include the United 
States in his familiar series of handbooks. 
Here is a new world to conquer, worthy of his 
genius. There are handbooks in the United 
States, one professing to be on the model of 
Baedeker; but they are curiously useless. 
I had one known here as " The Tourists* Guide 
to the United States and Canada," and in 
England as " The Englishman's Guide." 
Published at 75. 6^. in England, it costs 
lOs. 6d. in New York, its place of manu- 
facture. For some days, covering thousands 
of miles of travel, it possessed a strange fasci- 
nation for me, being the premier book in the 
English tongue as containing the least amount 
of information in proportion to its bulk. But 
enjoyment of that kind soon palls, and on 
rejoining my trunks at Chicago I put the 
volume away at the bottom of the largest 

The baggage arrangements are, in their 
inception, among the principal conveniences 
of American travel. The voyager from New 
York to San Francisco can, without trouble or 
expense, check his baggage forward from town 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


to town, picking it up where lie pleases. 
Sometimes, it is true, lie picks it up in several 
pieces, and many a family arriving at San 
Francisco have had their opinion of the 
convenience of the American system sorely 
modified as they stood by the wreck of their 
baggage. An American railway porter treats 
each individual piece of baggage as if he owed 
it a personal grudge. Easy as it may seem to 
take the Ughtest and frailest boxes as the 
basis of a pile, and then bring down upon 
them the sharp, iron-bound edges of a Sara- 
toga trunk, it requires a good deal of skill and 
practice so to deal with whole carloads of 
l^ggag©- Yet I have never seen at any station 
along four thousand miles of railway a single 
instance of failure. An English railway porter 
handles baggage with comparative kindliness, 
for it represents to him sixpence or a shilling. 
Tipping not being the practice in America, 
the railway porter has nothing to look for or 
to hope for, and accordingly takes it out of 
the baggage. 

This same absence of tips is doubtless 
responsible for the brusqueness, frequently 
reaching the stage of downright rudeness, 
which marks the manner of all with whom 
travellers have to deal at American railway 
stations. Ask a porter or depot superintendent 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



(if you can find one) from which of the con- 
fusing Knes a particular train is to start. 

^^ How? "he growls, turning upon you a 
frowning, indignant face, as if he thought he had 
heard you ask him to lend you five shillings. 

You repeat the question, and he, turning 
on his heel, pitches over his shoulder a mono- 
syllabic reply, which you may or may not 
catch. In any case, it will be all you'll get. 
This is not a reference to an exceptional 
experience. It is an unvarnished description 
of at least twenty approaches poHtely made to 
railway officials between New York and San 
Francisco. At only one town did I meet with 
an employ^ whose manner answered in any 
degree to the courtesy and willingness to 
obHge of a corresponding official at an English 
railway station. The exception — I gratefully 
and admiringly record it — was the station- 
master at Kansas City. 

The **tip" system, against which English 
railway directors rigorously enforce penalties, 
has its abuses ; but sometimes, wandering for- 
lornly in search of my train at a large railway 
junction, I have thought tenderly of the 
English railway porter, with his right hand 
dropped at his side and conveniently hooked 
lest peradventure the obliged passenger should 
want to drop a shilling in it. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Perhaps in Englajid we are too mucli in 
the habit of relying upon the friendly and 
officious porter who not only sees your 
baggage into the van but conducts you to a 
carriage, and leaves you safely and comfortably 
seated. But if such intervention is desirable 
at an EngUsh station, with its well-defined 
platform, its warning bell, and its hosts of 
attendants, it seems absolutely indispensable 
in an American depot (pronounced deepo), 
which is simply a wilderness of rails level 
with waiting-rooms. Instead of a train being 
drawn up to a raised platform as in England, 
it is halted in various positions on the broad 
level unguarded highway, oftenest either in 
the middle or at the far side. No attempt is 
made to see that passengers who have paid 
for their tickets start with the train. "All 
aboard," the conductor confidentially observes 
to himself, and thereupon, without warning, 
whistle or sound of bell, the train gUdes out of 
the station with whatever proportion of pas- 
sengers may chance to be seated at the 
moment, or in the frantic rush which follows 
may succeed in jumping on. 

" Don't get yourself left," a phenomenally 
friendly conductor said to me at Ellis, as I 
stood on the platform two seconds before the 
train moved on. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


That way of putting it exactly represents the 
situation. If a train over an hour or two late 
pulls up at a roadside station and, presently 
moying off without a warning note, leaves a 
passenger behind, he has " got himself left." 

This brusqueness in railway places is a 
reflection of the national manner as met with 
in the cars and on steamboats. *^How?" 
or ** What's that ? " is the invariable response 
made to a question, however softly put by a 
stranger on the cars. It is uttered in a pecu- 
liarly sharp, snappish tone while your inter- 
locutor is looking up and down, from hat to 
boots, with suspicious, inquiring glance. I do 
not think anything unpleasant is meant by 
this. The American when you know him is 
among the most friendly and hospitable of 
human beings ; but his manner on the cars or 
in the streets is apt to convey a false impres- 
sion to the foreigner. 

It sometimes happens even after the un- 
promising conversational start of " How ? " or 
"What's that?" that a fellow-companion on 
a car becomes very friendly and sometimes 
even entertaining. This is most frequently 
the case on long journeys where, having ob- 
served your habits, and formed an opinion of 
your character, the conclusion is arrived at 
that you don't mean any particular harm. On 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


the journey between Ogden and San Francisco, 
I made the acquaintance of an early settler in 
California. He was a lawyer, and full of 
reminiscences of the early administration of 
law in the State. It seems to have worked 
consistently, so as to give the odd chance to 
the criminal. 

Three escapes are worth recording. The 
first happened at Esmeralda, a town near the 
borders of Nevada and California. A man was 
being tried for murder — a very bad case. 
Esmeralda being at the time understood to be 
in California, the judge, sheriffs, and jury were 
all from that Stjite. The case for the pro- 
secution was concluded, there was Hterally no 
defence, and the fate of the prisoner seemed 
sealed. The judge was about to address the 
jury, when the official surveyors, who had 
been working in the neighbourhood for some 
days, hurriedly arrived in the court and 
announced that Esmeralda was in Nevada. 

** Then, gentlemen," said the judge, rising 
and reaching out for his hat, *' I don't know 
that I've any business here." 

'^ I reckon, judge, that we've none either," 
said the jury, beginning to disperse. 

** I guess I'm in the wrong box, too," said 
the prisoner, and out he went with the crowd, 
and was not seenin the neighbourhood any more. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


In the second case the prisoner got off by 
an oversight of the judge. This happened at 
Sacramento. The man had been caught red- 
handed in the act of murder, but in accordance 
with the possibilities of American law had 
been bailed out. At the sitting of the court 
the man surrendered, and the responsibility of 
his bondsman there ended. This was the 
preHminary inquiry, and what the judge had 
to decide was whether the man should be held 
to answer the charge before a jury, a process 
akin to our magisterial inquiry. After hearing 
the eyidence, the judge " held the prisoner to 
answer," but omitted the next formula of de- 
hvering him into the custody of the sheriff. It 
was accordingly the business of only a single 
person to look after the prisoner. That 
person was himself, and judging he would be 
better outside, he walked out, and has not 
since been captured. 

The third case is less nearly connected with 
legal formula. A sheriff had, after a hot chase, 
caught a prisoner charged with shooting a 
fellow-practitioner at the bar of an hotel. As 
there was some talk of rescue, the sheriff, a 
determined fellow, spared no precaution. He 
had the prisoner bound and carried into a 
substantial log-hut. Arming himself to the 
teeth, he determined to keep watch himself 

TOL. I. 11 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


through the night. He barricaded the door, 
and for greater safety slept across it, placing 
his prisoner in the comer remotest from the 

*^I guess,'' he said, as he lay down, "if 
they take the boy they'll have to stride over 
my body." 

At daybreak he was awakened by a cold 
draught, and looking round saw that he was 
the sole occupant of the hut. The prisoner's 
friends had raised one corner of the hut with a 
screw-jack, the prisoner had rolled himself out, 
and was already well across the border. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

( 163 ) 



It is a far cry from San Francisco to Yoko- 
hama, the distance seeming the greater by 
reason of the loneliness of the way. Nine- 
teen days are occupied in crossing 4,700 
miles of water, and during all that time till 
within a hundred miles of Yokohama we do 
not see a sail or other sign of human life. 
Life of any kind except that borne along by 
the ship herself has been curiously absent. 
One day a missionary from Illinois created 
some excitement by discovering a whale ; but 
it turned out to be only a porpoise. Oppor- 
tunities for observing the common objects of 
the sea are limited in Illinois. 

Save for the albatross the great waste of 
water bounded by the horizon would be abso- 
lutely lifeless. But the albatross we have 
always with us. Shortly after land had faded 
from sight three attached themselves to the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


ship, and througli a wild, wet day followed it, 
sometimes swooping far ahead as if impatient 
of its slow progress, and then returning quietly 
to talk the matter over in our wake. On the 
fourth day the number was increased to nine, 
at which it steadily stood. It is hard to say 
whether they are always the same birds, and 
much kindly thought is bestowed upon their 
sleeping arrangements. Wherever they sleep 
or howsoever they rest, they are always full of 
life and strength and grace, careering round the 
ship, and never tired of their one game, which 
consists of getting a clear run with one or two 
flaps of their wings, then with graceful swoop 
coming down to the water's edge and seeing 
which can go nearest to the waves without 
wetting the tip of one wing. One Sunday 
afternoon, to the scandal of the missionaries, 
of whom we have six on board, they began 
playing " cart-wheels," in close imitation of the 
London street boy ; but they soon tired of this, 
and went back to the prize skimming-game, 
which they have played incessantly ever since. 
One day a ship in full sail bound east 
passed us. The day after, when within a 
hundred miles of port, we had a visitor in 
the shape of a dove. Like the one despatched 
by Noah, it had been out over the waste of 
waters in search of land, and finding none 

Digitized by V:»00QIC 


gladly took refuge on our ark. It sat for 
hours on one of the yardarms, and regarded 
with profound interest the crowd of Chinese 
playing dominoes on the lower deck. In the 
afternoon came also a couple of white albatross, 
which gaUy escorted us till night fell upon the 
ship almost under the shadow of land. 

A wreck on the Atlantic is bad enough, 
but a wreck on the Pacific is almost hopeless. 
On a recent passage of one of these steamers 
the look-out discovered far on the lee what 
looked like an abandoned junk. Bearing down 
upon it, signs of life were noted, and a boat 
was prepared for the rescue. The steamer 
bearing close down upon the junk and having 
too much way on her passed it. Whereupon 
seven half-starved Japanese, who had been 
eagerly watching her approach, beHeving the 
steamer was after all abandoning them, flung 
themselves upon the deck with a despairing 
shriek, and all that could be seen was half a 
dozen skeleton hands waving over the bul- 
warks of the junk — a mute appeal to relent 
and rescue them. When the Japanese were 
taken off they could scarcely crawl across the 
deck of the steamer, and one died the same 
night, delirious with his first meal. It was 
a junk, rice laden, and had been driven out 
to sea by a typhoon. Three long months 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


they had been tossing about on the lonely 
Pacific, hungrily scanning the horizon, and 
never a sail had they seen till the steamer 
hove in sight. They had subsisted wholly 
on raw rice, and, it fortunately being the 
rainy season, had fouod a bare but sufficient 
supply of water. Under the unremitting care 
of their rescuers the six Japanese recovered 
health and strength. Indeed, before being 
landed at Yokohama, they were well enough 
to roundly abuse the captain for having burned 
their waterlogged junk after saving them, and 
to threaten an action for damages. 

An ordinary Atlantic steamer would make 
this voyage in fourteen days. The Coptic, 
though small as compared with the Atlantic 
liners, could easily do it in sixteen. But the 
managers at San Francisco have reached the 
conclusion that more money is to be made 
by extending the natural limits of the voyage, 
which not infrequerltly runs to twenty-six 
days. The Occidental and Oriental Line is 
registered as a Liverpool company, and the 
ships at the time of my visit actually belonged 
to the White Star Line. Practically the little 
knot of men already alluded to as " controlling " 
all public works in connection with San Fran- 
cisco have closed their rapacious hand over this 
line of steamers which they charter. There is 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


another line, the Pacific Mail, to which an in- 
nocent public might look to deliver them from 
a tyranny of monopoly. But San Francisco 
operators are not likely to leave a weapon of 
the kind hanging loose. The two companies 
pool their earnings, and of course settle their 
freight charges on a common basis limited by 
the endurance of the pubUc. I do not know 
anything of the freight charges, but can bear 
testimony that the passage-money as com- 
pared with the mileage of the Atlantic is 
nearly fifty per cent, higher. 

That might be borne, especially as there is 
no redress ; but the hapless passengers have 
some cause for complaint that their time 
should be ruthlessly wasted, offered up a sacri- 
fice to the Moloch of the niggardly economy 
of the San Francisco clique. Things have 
grown worse since the company became pos- 
sessed of a so-called coal mine. This is known 
as the Carbon Hill Mine, and, according to 
the San Francisco joke, the managers of the 
Occidental Line debated for some time whether 
they should work it for slate or for coal. It 
was decided by a toss-up to call it a coal mine, 
and the proceeds are sent out to be burned in 
this line of mail steamers. Burning it libe- 
rally, and with a fair wind, we gaily bowl along 
at ten knots an hour. With a head wind and 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


a rough sea, if we make four knots we are 
grateful. With fair treatment the Coptic 
could do an average of fourteen knots. Ex- 
periments are now being made with the view 
of using this coal in driving the cable street 
trams in San Francisco. A still more am- 
bitious project entertained by the ruthless 
proprietors is to burn it on the Union Pacific 
Line. The only hope for hapless San Fran- 
cisco and for the pubHc using this great 
highway to the West rests in the fact that the 
Carbon Hill Mine is the private property of 
a few members of the clique, and they will 
have to settle with their colleagues in the 
proprietorship. If it can be made worth their 
while, these gentlemen will, in accordance 
with their custom, accept the stuff for coal ; 
but the terms must be high, and San Francisco, 
helplessly looking on, hopes for the best. 

As for the mail steamers, things are likely 
to grow worse rather than better, since there 
is some talk of abandoning the charter with 
the White Star Line for a cheaper class of 
vessel. In the meantime we have a White 
Star ship with all its comforts and admirable 
management, as far as it can be controlled 
from Liverpool. We have in Captain Kidley 
one of the cheeriest, kindliest commanders 
afloat, and, with occasional growls at the coal, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


get along very comfortably. Our captain has 
a fine baritone voice, and comes out with great 
effect in the choir on Sundays. The diflSculty 
here and with kindred entertainments is that 
the piano has been tuned at least two notes 
low — a fresh evidence, it is agreed, of the 
economical policy of the management. Last 
Sunday it had been arranged to include in the 
hymns the one commencing ** Eternal Father, 
strong to save" — a hymn which, sung in 
thousands of English churches on quiet Sun- 
days, finds an echo in many a lonely ship 
making its way across the pathless ocean. 
Just before the service I came upon the captain, 
evidently in a mood of deep dejection, despair- 
ingly wrestling with a difficult problem. 

" What's the matter, captain ? " I asked. 
** Have the engineers come upon another layer 
of slate ? " 

**No," said he, loyally resenting reference 
to the sore subject of the coal ; ** I'm thinking 
of the piano. We must pitch * Eternal Father ' 
two bars higher." 

We have on board, living and dead, some 
twelve hundred Chinamen. The Hving ones 
are going home to spend in China the modest 
fortune they have made in California. The 
dead are going home to be buried in the 
company of their ancestors. No one can say 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


how many dead we have on hoard, though the 
original number is being added to from day to 
day. Even the purser does not know, though 
he mi^ht, if he liked, tell how many coffins 
have been regularly entered as freight by the 
Six Companies of San Francisco. These cor- 
porations were instituted with the object of 
directing and profiting by the immigration 
of the Chinese to California. Apart from other 
payments, a Chinaman subscribes two dollars 
to the Six Companies on arriving at San 
Francisco, and from two to six on returning. 
In consideration of these payments the com- 
panies undertake in the event of sickness to 
provide medical aid, and, in case of death, to 
embalm the body and ship it to Hongkong. 

The companies are, in fact, a kind of sick 
and burial society. On a hill at San Francisco, 
overlooking the bay and the Golden Gate, is 
a small unkempt enclosure known as the 
Chinese cemetery. But it is merely a tem- 
porary resting-place for the bones of the tired 
dead man. It is in his bond that sooner or 
later he shall be laid at rest in his native 
village, in convenient contiguity to his ances- 
tors, and the Six Companies dare no more, in 
the least considerable case, refuse to meet this 
engagement than the Bank of England dare 
refuse to cash one of its five-pound notes. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


It is whispered among the outer barbarians 
that the Six Companies are not asleep to 
opportunities of reducing their liabilities. If 
they have on their books a man sinking from 
consumption — a dire disease among the Chinese 
immigrants — they make haste to ship him off. 
If he dies in San Francisco it will cost the 
companies from first to last JE20. If he is 
once got on board and passes out through the 
Golden Gate into another world, the cost of 
embalming the body falls on other shoulders. 
If the man has money the amount is deducted 
from his possessions. If he has not, the poorest 
Chinaman on board will subscribe to the frind 
necessary to secure his embalmment. 

In either case the cost of embalming is only 
thirty dollars, of which the purser takes twelve 
and a half, the doctor who does the work re- 
ceives an equal sum, and the odd five dollars 
are distributed among the members of the crew 
who handle the coffin. A dead Chinaman is 
with grotesque realism called " a stiff," and the 
number of '* stiffs " on a voyage is the measure 
of the financial prosperity of purser, doctor, 
and petty officers. On a good voyage, I have 
been told, there have been as many as sixteen 
** stiffs," representing 480 dollars. 

These steamers always take out a stock of 
coffins. They are stored in the boats on deck, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


and should anything happen to the vessel and 
we had to take to the boats, we must first 
hand out the ooflSns, some full, others empty. 
A Chinese coflSn has an unaccustomed look, 
which relieves the boatloads from much of 
their ghastliness. They look like trunks of 
trees, hollowed, squared, and with the ends 
stopped up. They are not shaped with the 
stiff formality of the Western coffin, and are to 
my mind infinitely preferable. Generally the 
deaths are viewed with stolid indifference by 
the Chinese. There is one more bunk empty, 
one mouth the less to feed, and the purser and 
doctor have another handful of dollars. But 
when there is a family and one is taken, the 
commotion is considerable. 

, There was on board our ship an old dried- 
up Chinese lady from Demerara, said to be 
eighty years of age. She was hastening home 
to dwell for ever with kith and kin, but could 
not hold out, and died on the tenth day. One 
night she predicted her death on the follow- 
ing day, had herself dressed in grave-clothes, 
and lay quietly awaiting the tryst she had 
made, and which Death for his part faithfully 
kept. When the coffin was carried out to be 
placed with the rest in the boat, her sons and 
daughters and grandchildren followed it with 
great weeping and wailing, in which their 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


sympathetic countrymeii, playing dominoes on 
the deck, heartily joined. When the sailcloth 
was drawn over the newest coflSn stowed away 
in the boat hanging by the davits, sons, 
daughters, and grandchildren went back to 
pipes and tea, the players returned to their 
dominoes, and the yellow-wrinkled old lady 
in the white grave-clothes seemed to pass from 

The reason why uncertainty exists as to 
the precise number of dead bodies on board, 
arises from the friendly habits of the Chinese, 
They will, to obhge a neighbour, cheerfully 
pack up the bones of a compatriot in a red 
pocket-handkerchief, or place them as the last 
layer in a trunk containing their best clothes, 
and so give them free passage home. 

The Uve Chinaman is the most inveterate 
gambler of the human race. He begins shortly 
after sunrise, and the dominoes and dice are 
put away only when it grows too dark to recog- 
nize the numbers. I got up early one morning 
to see the sunrise, and was rewarded by coming 
upon even a more remarkable sight. It was 
a Chinaman cleaning his teeth. He had on a 
pair of blue cotton trousers, made for a man 
with much longer body, the seat flapping idly 
about his knees. Above this he wore a sailor's 
cloth pea-jacket, green with age. The front 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


part of his head, shaved shortly hefore leaving 
San Francisco, was now covered with short 
hair, his pigtail being wound several times 
round the crown of his head. There in the 
early morning, with the east beginning to glow 
in the light of the rising sun, the Chinaman 
stood and sedulously sawed away at his teeth 
with a brush he had probably borrowed from 
his last place. 

Near him, even at this hour, were five 
groups sitting on their haunches, around 
pieces of matting, playing dominoes and 
chattering like so many magpies. They seem 
a very Ught-hearted race, with unHmited con- 
versational powers, and a keen perception of 
what passes in Chinese for a joke. Their 
capacity for the conditions of sedentary life is 
astonishing. Some of them do not leave their 
bunk from one week's end to the other. Those 
who go on deck either sit on their haunches 
all day gambling, or stand vacantly staring at 
the quarter-deck, as if they momentarily ex- 
pected something to happen upon it. Nothing 
surprises them so much as to see the saloon 
passengers walking up and down as if for 
a wager. 

On fine days some of them dine on deck 
and display remarkable dexterity with their 
chop-sticks. They eat in parties of fourteen. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Each mess has its self-elected steward, who 
brings the allowance, around which the four- 
teen sit gabbling and gobbling, putting their 
chop-sticks in the common dish, and stoking 
themselves with rice with marvellous skill. 
An able-bodied Chinaman dexterously poises 
his bowl over his under lip, holding it with his 
left hand. In his right twinkle the chop- 
sticks, and before you could count a score the 
bowl is empty and the reinvigorated diner-out 
is fishing round with his chop-sticks in the 
common bowl for a toothsome bit of fat pork. 

Upwards of half a ton of rice is consumed 
every day by the steerage passengers. This 
is their staple food, but they have deHcacies 
and luxuries which vary its monotony. Dried 
fish is much appreciated, and so are eggs if of 
proper age. It is of course only the rich who 
can afford the luxury of an egg laid five or six 
years ago. On board the ship the steerage 
passengers must be content to havfe them as 
many months old. They are shipped in 
barrels, each egg being carefully covered with 
a preparation of mud and charcoal. This is 
peeled off and the dehcacy is ready for the 
table. It is interesting to watch the ghsten- 
ing eyes and watering Hps of the group stand- 
ing around the barrel in which the eggs are 
being peeled. Who knows but that, perad- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


venture, a real full-flavoured five-year-old may 
not by accident have got in with the rest ? 

Another delicacy of even higher rank is 
shrimps. Not your fresh shrimps, redolent of 
the sea, such as are served with bread and 
butter and watercress at Margate. The 
inborn conservatism of the Chinese extends to 
his dish of shrimps. They must be old, or he 
will have none of them. They are shelled 
and dried, and after many days made into 
soup in conjunction with vermicelli. It is a 
great day in the steerage when shrimp soup is 
on the bill of fare. The shells are exported 
to China, where they bring a large price, 
being regarded as the finest manure for the 
tea plant. In San Francisco a large and im- 
portant trade is carried on in shrimp shells, of 
which we have many bales among our cargo. 
Another favourite Chinese soup is made of a 
coarse sugar, first cousin to molasses, known 
as panoche. A proportion of ship's biscuits is 
added, and the soup served out twice a week, 
to the exceeding joy of the Chinese. 

Yet another prime deUcacy is a vegetable 
known as l^eanstick. This is the beanstalk 
dried and submitted to some more mysterious 
process, after which it is chopped up and boiled 
to make soup. Tea is served at every meal, 
and is of course taken without milk or sugar. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


This list comprises the principal articles. of 
food provided on the ship. In addition some 
of the more thoughtful furnish themselves 
with a supply of pork sausages supematurally 
fat. These they hang up at the head of their 
bunks. It must be rather hard for the poor 
fellows on either side or in the rear bunks to 
have these tempting delicacies hanging almost 
literally over their noses and to feel that they 
are another's. 

I had the opportunity of visiting the 
Chinese quarters in the ship, and was asto- 
nished to find it densely populated at eleven 
o'clock in the morning. It was a fine morn- 
ing, and the decks fore and aft were crowded 
with domino-players, chattering at the top of 
their voice as fortune varied and there were 
exchanged driblets of ** cash," of which, at 
present currency, eleven hundred go to make 
three and ninepence. Yet the berths below 
deck were as populous as a rabbit warren. As 
we walked through, dodging the strings of 
sausages that hung out from many bunks, 
yellow faces bobbed up from all quarters, and 
great brown, almond-shaped eyes fixed us with 
uncompromising stare. Unlike the Japanese, 
who whenever they can dress in European gar- 
ments, which even upon the well-to-do classes 
look as if they were misfits bought in Petti- 

VOL. I. 12 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


coat Lane, the Chinese, even at sea, preserve 
their national garb. They are not exclusive in 
respect of trousers, which may be of any cloth 
or cut, though blue cotton is preferred. Nor 
are they particular in the matter of head-gear. 
The proper Chinese cap is made of black silk, 
close fitting and surmounted by a little red 
button. These are largely worn on the ship ; 
but in number they are run very close by a 
soft flat-crowned ** billy-cock," in various 
stages of dilapidation, and having more or less 
reference to the size of the head. This dis- 
reputable head-gear, clapped over the pigtail, 
and surmounting the Chinese tunic, some- 
times has an irresistibly comic effect. 

Amongst the throng of coolies are some 
half-dozen men of strikingly different appear- 
ance. These are decently dressed in blue 
cloth tunics, with trousers to match, and with 
stockings on their feet. They wear their pig- 
tail down their back, where in course of time 
it makes a smooth greasy mark between the 
shoulders. They are merchants returning 
home on business, and could well afford to 
take a saloon passage ; but, like the Shuna- 
mite woman, they prefer to dwell among their 
own people. One family, consisting of father, 
mother, and three pretty moon-faced children, 
travelled from Los Angelos to San Francisco 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


in a drawing-room oar. On board the Coptic 
they pig in with their own race, eat their food, 
and breathe their somewhat overladen air. 
Neither wife nor children have, as far as I 
have seen, once appeared on deck since the 
ship left San Francisco. That is by no means 
an uncommon case. Yet they appear healthy 
and happy enough. 

Infinite care is taken to find the best 
possible ventilation for the crowded hold, and 
with surprising success. On the morning I 
visited the steerage it had been battened down 
on account of rough weather; yet no one 
could have told that a thousand people closely 
packed had passed the night there. 

There is food for pensive thought in the 
fact that there are over eleven hundred China- 
men on board the ship, and less than fifty of 
Western race. Contingencies have been cared 
for in a pecuUar but effective manner. Hoses 
and steam-pipes are strategically placed so as 
to command the decks and holds. If the 
Chinese were to prove obstreperous they 
might be either steamed or drenched. Cases 
are not infrequent where the hose is brought 
into requisition. Not very long ago, on a 
voyage of thirty days, the supply of rice gave 
out and the Chinese began to murmur. The 
murmur rising to clamour, the hose was got 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


ready for action. When the Chinese rushed 
aft asking for rice the bo'sun gave them water, 
and what might have been a murderous out- 
break was instantly quelled. 

Four days before we arrived there was an 
outbreak among the Chinese on the Coptic^ 
arising out of a little difficulty among them- 
selves. They were, as usual, playing dominoes, 
when accusations of foul play were made. 
Three retired, and coming back, each armed 
with a chopper, "went for" any one who 
chanced to be near— the baker was one, and 
him they sliced with the choppers— till, the 
watch rushing up, they were disarmed, put in 
irons, and were on arrival handed to the police 
authorities at Yokohama. Meanwhile we were 
deprived of the services of our baker, who made 
excellent bread. 

There is a small cabin aft set apart for 
opium smokers. It is always crowded, but 
the space is wholly inadequate to the demand. 
Those who cannot get in appropriate a covered 
passage near the wheel, where in double line, 
feet to feet, they lie and smoke " like gods 
together, careless of mankind." To them, 

Hateful is tlie dark-bine sky, 
Vaulted o'er tlie dark-blue sea ; 

Death is the end of life. Ah, why- 
Should life all labour be ? 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Let them alone. They have toiled much and 
long in an alien land, bearing the insults and 
often the cuflfs of a race they despise. Now 
they have made their little heap of money, 
and are going back to spend it with their 
famiUes and with the sweet certainty that 
their bones shall rest in their own land. There 
will be labour again when the voyage is over 
and they land in Hongkong. In the mean- 
while, let them 

Mnse and brood and live again in memoiy, 

With those old faces of their infancy, 

Heap'd over with a mound of grass, 

Two handfuls of white dust shut in an urn of brass. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

182 EA8T BT WEST. 



As we steamed into the bay of Yeddo, 
Yokohama was dimly discernible under lower- 
ing skies and through the mist of incessant 
rain. In crossing the Pacific we had been 
cheered by the sight of many sunsets of ever 
varied beauty. However dull or wet the day, 
the sunset was rarely missing. Now the 
sun seemed to have set for ever. It had, 
we learned on landing, been raining for a 
fortnight ; which was a little hard on Yoko- 
hama, since it had had its rains in June and 
July, and this was its season for fair weather. 
One of our fellow-passengers was from 
Glasgow, and as we stood in the Custom 
House, sheltering from the pitiless rain and 
wondering how far we should be successful in 
making a dash into a jinrikisha without getting 
wet through, he was visibly affected. •' 

"It is just like Glasgae," he murmured, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


thinking of the many months that had 
separated hinx from home and friends, fog 
and rain. 

But the rain was the only thing homelike 
in the scene. As the Coptic steamed up to 
the buoy we caught some indefinite glimpses 
of Yokohama with the green Bluff which 
Europeans have wisely marked for their own, 
and where they live in pretty bungalows set in 
cool gardens, flanked by tennis lawns. 

Even through the rain the bay was a fine 
sight. All the navies of the world might ride 
at anchor here safe from the winds that mock 
at the name of the Pacific. Half a dozen 
men-of-war were already anchored, notably a 
Eussian ironclad, one of the most beautiful 
things afloat. England was represented by a 
single ship, two having been ordered off to 
Hongkong in view of possibilities that might 
be created by the trouble agitating France 
and China. There were ships of larger or 
smaller tonnage from American and British 
ports. A Mitsu Bishi steamer came puflBng 
in our wake, arriving from one of the southern 
Japanese ports and going north at daybreak. 
One smart steamer moored to the buoy must 
have been an object of special interest to the 
Mitsu Bishi people. She is the first comer of 
a splendid fleet of sixteen steamers now build- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


ing on the Clyde, and intended to run in 
competition with the Mitsu line. By October, 
1884, this fine fleet of steamers will be coast- 
ing round Japan, 

Long before the Coptic was made fast to 
the buoy the bay was alive with sampans, the 
heavy-looking native boat, with the crews 
clamorous for fares. The boatmen, standing 
in the stem vigorously working the colossal 
oar that sculls the sampan, were dressed for a 
wet day. It is not many years since the 
Japanese native costume amongst the lower 
orders was limited to a hand's-breadth of 
cloth tied about the loins. The new order of 
Japanese, impregnated with Western ideas, 
sternly sets its face against this habitude. 
The upper classes, laying aside the graceful 
Eastern robes which their fathers wore, have 
attired themselves in European dress, which 
they wear without grace. There seems no 
reason why, given a capable tailor, a Japanese 
gentleman should not look well in broadcloth. 
As a matter of fact, he never does. From the 
Mikado down to the merchant or tradesman, a 
Japanese who wears European dress seems to 
have bought his suit at a ready-made clothing 
establishment. Happily the ladies,with in- 
stinctive good taste, more generally retain the 
native costume, with its graceful lines and 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


soft colours. When they lay it aside for 
European clothes they lose aU their natural 
taste in colours, and come out with painful 

The lower classes, compelled by Imperial 
edict to go about clothed, keep to the native 
dress, and so obtain a vast advantage over 
their superiors in station. In fine weather 
this dress is with the men exceeding scanty, 
consisting of a blouse and blue cotton drawers, 
tightly fitting and extending half-way down 
the thigh. On a day like this they put on 
wonderful straw cloaks, reaching to the knee, 
whilst their heads are thatched with wide 
straw hats of saucer shape. Thus arrayed, 
with bare brown legs, and brawny arms wield- 
ing the gigantic oar, they looked like a regi- 
ment of Man-Fridays expectant of Eobinson 
Crusoe's arrival in the Coptic^ and eager to 
welcome him back to island life. Presently, 
when the rain ceased, the cloaks were dropped 
off, straw hats pitched aside, and they stood 
there some forty or fifty of the stalwartest men 
in either hemisphere. They do not run much 
to height, but their limbs are magnificent and 
their energy tireless. 

AU ages were represented in the sampans, 
from boys of eight or ten with tremendous 
biceps and stout calves, to men so old and 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


wrinkled that they would seem past the time 
at which these heavy oars could be usefully 
wielded. One old gentleman, a priceless sub- 
ject for a painter, sculled in with the first of 
the fleet, having a bright blue cotton hand- 
kerchief tied round his wrinkled face, a straw 
cloak on his shoulders, and apparently nothing 
else. The object of attack was the coolies who 
might be going ashore, and the victory was 
to the boatman who got his sampan nearest to 
the ship's side, and so secured the chance of 
the first coolie disembarking. There being 
no provision for holding on to the steamer, 
the only way of keeping in place among the 
heaving mass of sampans was to keep sculling. 
Old Blue-Cotton-Handkerchief, after racing 
across the bay, stood in the stem of his 
sampan with brawny muscle, corded legs set 
wide apart, sculling for his life ; whilst in the 
bows, thrown out in skirmishing order, was 
his grandson, or perhaps his great grandson, 
fishing for coolies with a boat-hook. I was on 
the steamer for nearly two hours after she was 
attached to the buoy, during which time the 
crowd of sampans were struggling and heaving 
on the port side, amid an incessant din of 
voices. Whenever I looked over the side, 
there was the blue cotton handkerchief bound 
about a wrinkled face that seemed to be 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


carved deep out of mahogany, the old man, 
with lips firmly set and eyes anxiously fixed 
on the throng of coolies, sculling as if he hacl 
just taken the oar in hand, and it was feather 

The coolies had an uncommonly lively time 
of it. I could not make out upon what plan 
selection was made, whether the cooKe chose 
the sampan or the sampan-man the coolie. 
All that was to be seen at brief intervals over 
the bulwarks was a coolie bundhng into a 
sampan, where half a dozen brawny arms 
seized him, and amid a fearsome clamour 
handed him about till he was finally deposited 
in a boat and was presently rowed away. One 
who had evidently got himself up with great 
care, probably having a circle of visiting 
acquaintance in Yokohama, had undergone 
this process of selection, and was sitting, pale 
and heated, smoothing out his umbrella, 
wiping his spectacles, and shaking his clothes 
into shape. He had had a bad time of it, but 
it was over now, and he would soon be on dry 
land. Suddenly the clamour recommenced. 
He was seized upon, and hustled, spectacles, 
umbrella, and all, into a sampan three boats 
off, where five of his compatriots were already 
seated. From this and one or two other 
incidents, I surmised that the sampan men 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


arranged among themselves to take parties of 
coolies who were going together to various 
parts of the town, and that they were sorting 
them out as if they were a consignment of 

We had two Japanese passengers in the 
saloon of the Coptic^ young fellows who had 
been travelling and studying in Europe and the 
States. They had all the amiability and gen- 
tleness of the Japanese, modest, retiring, and 
almost pathetically polite. In rough weather 
they were always being blown about the decks, 
pulled short up by running against portions of 
the rigging, and in various ways being made 
light of. Coming on deck shortly after we were 
anchored, I beheld a strange transformation 
scene. The elder of the Japanese was leaning 
in easy, dignified attitude against the gang- 
way. The younger one was standing talking 
to him bareheaded, and before him in semi- 
circle at respectful distance stood an extra- 
ordinary group of Japanese. They were five 
in number. Each man had a large paper 
umbrella stuck under one arm, and a hat of 
straw under the other. Three wore straw 
cloaks; one had a musty brown cloak; and 
the fifth, the beau of the party, wore a pair of 
top-boots and a gorgeous green blanket. I 
noticed — and the accuracy of the observation 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


has been abundantly confirmed in various 
parts of Japan — ^that when a native draws on 
a pair of top-boots he thinks he has done 
all that can be faMy required of him in the 
way of dressing. But the law is stern, and 
as the day was wet the green blanket had 
been superadded. Nevertheless, as he moved 
about and bowed, unexpected glimpses were 
caught above the top-boots of sun-tanned 
flesh. Whenever the elder Japanese spoke, 
all the five men bowed down to the ground. 
If, without speaking, his glance wandered in 
any particular direction, the individual so 
honoured bowed and smiled, " and chortled in 
his joy." 

After this scene the secret about the elder 
Japanese could no longer be kept. He was 
a prince in disguise. Young as he was, he 
had been a Daimio at the time of the revo- 
lution, endowed with vast wealth and almost 
boundless power. He had never stirred 
abroad without an escort of two-sworded 
men. When the revolution came, the Daimios 
accepted the situation with praiseworthy 
philosophy. They abandoned their rank and 
state, took Government bonds in part pay- 
ment of the value of their lands, and this 
young prince, like some others, content- 
edly went forth to see the wonders of the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Western world. The five men were some of 
his old retainers, probably two-sworded men, 
who, hearing of his arrival, had come to do 
him homage. 

The Custom House at Yokohama is based 
entirely upon European models, except in the 
matter of roughness or incivility. One of my 
trunks, the least battered after running the 
gauntlet of the American baggage service, 
they asked to have opened. But the whole 
thing was over in a few minutes, and we were 
at hberty. Jinrikisha men were patiently wait- 
ing, not pestering passengers with demand 
for preference, but standing quietly in a row, 
dumbly hoping they might obtain it. The 
jinrikisha is perhaps the most prominent and 
certainly not the least useful institution of 
Japan. It is like an enlarged perambulator 
placed upon two light wheels ; there is a hood, 
movable backwards or forwards at pleasure, 
and on a day such as that on which we landed 
the fare is covered in from the rain with a 
curtain of oil-paper let down in front. For 
steed you have a little Jap, all bone, muscle, 
and good temper, who trots along at about 
six miles an hour, and can, if you will hire 
him, take you forty or fifty miles in the 
day, coming up smiling in the morning for 
another journey. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


The fare inside the bridges of Yokohama, 
practically the length and breadth of the city, 
is equal to a trifle under fivepence. You can 
hire a jinrikisha by the hour for 7^d. The 
mode of locomotion is pleasant and conve- 
nient, and with lingering reminiscence of the 
London cabby and the United States hackman, 
it is a positive pleasure to have for companion 
a jinrikisha man. He takes his poor pittance 
with a smile and a bow, and cheerfully trots 
off without thought of contingency of a 
supplementary copper. He is as merry as a 
child, and when two or three run together 
they laugh and talk like schoolboys. In 
common with their nation, they have a keen 
sense of the humorous or the ridiculous, and, 
to judge from the frequency of their laughter, 
they are constantly finding it. Eobinson 
Crusoe, in saucer hat and short straw cloak 
dripping over bare legs, took me to the hotel, 
and all the way I could hear him, amid the 
gusts of wind and the patter of the rain, 
chatting and laughing with his companions. 

On a day like this there was nothing to 
be done but shopping, and after delivering a 
few letters of introduction we went out to the 
silk stores. This time my jinrikisha man was 
a butterfly being, with a bright blue cotton 
handkerchief wound about his head and a 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



yellow oil-paper waterproof which glistened 
transparent in the pouring rain. The five 
retainers of the deposed prince wore white 
stockings, with the big toe in a place all 
to itself for convenience of tying the straw 
sandal. The people walking about the streets 
with paper umbrellas, and paper or straw 
cloaks, wore wooden pattens, standing fully 
three inches off the ground. To Western 
ideas it would have seemed better if there had 
been less clog and more trouser. But it was 
very wet, and there was no use in spoiling any 
clothing that might possibly be dispensed 
with. The jinrikisha men wore nothing on 
their feet but straw sandals, with which they 
gaily splashed through the mud, the water 
running down their bare legs in never-ceasing 

The next morning Yokohama underwent 
a glorious transformation. The clouds had 
rained themselves out, and the sun, Uke the 
Mikado breaking the bonds in which he had 
long been held by the Shoguns, had a com- 
plete restoration. We rose early, got into 
jinrikishas, and gaily bowled along for a trip 
round the Bluff. As we crossed the bridge 
over the canal a few paces to the right, there 
was Fuji, with snow-cap on, lifted far up 
into the blue sky. This famous mountain of 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Japan is seventy miles distant from Yoko- 
hama, but it seemed close enough to invite 
us to a run there and back before breakfast. 

Before mounting the steep to the Bluff we 
passed down a street wholly occupied by the 
Japanese. Yokohama is a foreign settle- 
ment. It was a fishing- village when, in 1859, 
it was selected as the site of one of the treaty 
ports. Foreigners, among whom English 
predominate, have built its principal streets, 
its hotel, its shops, its banks, and its club- 
house. Walking along the Bund, there is 
nothing except a stray Japanese or a group 
of jinrikisha men to contest the assumption 
that this is an English colonial street. Save 
for the same striking feature in the scenery. 
Main Street might pass for a British thorough- 
fare ; but cross the bridge, follow the street 
that skirts the canal, and you are in a new 
world. The street swarms with its residents 
in a manner peculiar to Eastern life. In an 
Enghsh street, there are to be seen the people 
who may chance to be passing, whilst ghmpses 
are caught through windows of others in the 
shops and houses. In Japan the people in the 
houses are as much on view as those actually 
in the street. 

The first duty of a Japanese householder 
or his deputy on rising in the morning is to 

VOL. I. 13 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


take down the front of his house. It is 
Kterally slided away, and the interior left in 
full view with whatever domestic operations 
may be going forward at the moment or 
through the day. This peculiarity of house 
architecture is not confined merely to the 
front. The inner rooms are made up on the 
same principle. There is a groove in the floor 
along which a panel shdes. When night 
comes and bedrooms are required, the panel is 
slided along, and there is the room. In the 
morning when it is time to get up — and 
sometimes, as travellers in the interior find 
to their embarrassment, before it is time to get 
up — the panels are slided back, and what was 
a bedroom is an imenclosed space. These 
panels (called shoji) are made of latticework 
of wood, the open spaces being covered with 
paper tightly stretched. This is the only 
wall of the inner rooms, the outer wall, front 
and back, being composed of sliding shutters 
aU wood. 

The shutters were drawn back, the bed- 
room walls had disappeared, and all the houses 
were open as we drove through in the fresh 
early morning. All the men and women 
were at work, and aU the children carrying 
babies. In this street, as in all other Japanese 
thoroughfares, the number of children is as- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


tounding. Salt Lake City is childless as 
compared with any Japanese quarter, whether 
in town or country. The stranger is startled 
by the first impression that all the girls 
are bom double-headed. To see a girl from 
three years old up to twelve is to make the 
discovery of a second and smaller head 
apparently growing on her right or left 
shoulder. On closer inspection this turns out 
to belong to a baby, which she is carrying 
strapped to her back, no portion of it visible 
except its head and face. I could not learn at 
what age a girl is held to be capable of carry- 
ing a baby, but I have seen scores whose age 
did not exceed four staggering along under 
the weight of an infant brother or sister 
bound to its back. This is the national form 
of carrying what in England are known as 
infants in arms. The Japanese equivalent to 
the phrase would naturally be infants on back. 
I do not know how it is for the infant, 
but it is evidently a very convenient way for 
the bearer. Women carrying children can, 
and do, go about their daily work as if they 
had no incumbrance, whilst the children 
play about the streets just as if the baby 
on their back were a wart or other insig- 
nificant natural excrescence. I never saw 
in Japan a baby held in other fashion, with 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


single exception of a man in Oyama who 
dandled one in his arms, and he, I subse- 
quently ascertained, was a person of weak 

Amongst the most striking of the costumes 
in the moving scene was that of men in 
blouses, with a sort of white brick dado below 
the belt, and between the shoulders a circle, 
also of white, marked with cabalistic signs. 
From a back view they look like movable 
targets for archery practice; but they were 
merely labourers in particular trades, or en- 
gaged by firms, whose badge they wore. There 
was among the population a larger propor- 
tion of trousef than obtains among jinrikisha 
men ; but this article of dress, considered in- 
dispensable in some countries, is held in but 
light esteem in Japan. Where it is worn 
there is an evident desire to make as little of 
it as possible. It is cut off short with sur- 
prising determination, and where worn down 
to the ankle a compromise is effected by 
having the cloth made almost skin-tight. 
When the waiters at the Grand Hotel brought 
me my first meal, I thought I was about to 
be entertained with a saltatory performance. 
They wore black serge tights of the cut 
familiar in the stage costume of male members 
of the Yokes family. I should not have been 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


at all surprised if one had incontinently 
passed his leg over the head of the other as 
he walked past him with a dish of chops. But 
they had only hrought in tiffin, and left the 
room in the usual fashion after placing it on 
the table. 

Many of the women add to their natural 
charms by blacking their teeth. This is the 
sign of the married state and has a particu- 
larly hideous effect. I am told it is now 
going out of fashion. The younger girls when 
dressed for the day touch the front of their 
under Kp with a brush dipped in vermilion. 
Our jinrikisha men made their way through 
the throng without running over any children, 
a feat accomplished only by dint of incessant 
shouting. We walked up the hill and finally 
came out on the racecourse, on the way ob- 
taining a bird's-eye view of Yokohama. 

Coming back one of the jinrikisha men 
politely invited us to visit a *' garden shop." 
Not desiring to buy anything, we were reluc- 
tant to enter, but yielded to pressure, and 
were received by the nursery gardener with 
profound courtesy, not abated by one jot when 
we left without a chrysanthemum pot or a 
flowering shrub under each arm. Yet the 
temptation to buy was very great. There 
were wonderful chrysanthemums, familiar as 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


home firiends in colour and shape, but in size 
and variety exceeding our choicest growths. 
Besides these, the chief growth of the garden, 
there were a variety of clever and artistic 
arrangements of ferns and grasses in china 
pots and dishes of divers shape, with pieces of 
rock or tiny stumps of trees standing in cool 
water, and presenting within the space of a 
few hands'-breadth a charming bit of sylvan 

We skirted the Bluff, looked down on the 
harbour, its quiet waters ghstening in the 
morning sunlight, and reached the level road 
by a steep hill, in which was a joss house. 
Looking in, we saw kneeling before a tinselled 
altar two men, one reciting prayer in a mono- 
tonous voice, and the other beating a drum, 
whose tu-eless tum-tum-tum, tum-tum-tum, we 
could hear half-way down the hill. 

Eetuming through the narrow street by 
the canal, the busy scene had grown in colout 
and motion with the advancing day. The 
houses were full of people, and yet the street 
was thronged. The domestic arrangements in 
a Japanese shop trench closely upon those of 
trade. The family sit in a group on the floor, 
the men, and not unfrequently the women, 
smoking. A small square box, containing 
burning charcoal an^ a receptacle for tobacco 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


ash, is an indispensable article of furniture in 
every sitting-room, whether it be shop or 
kitchen. The pipe, made of metal, has a bowl 
about as broad and deep as the nail of the 
little finger. It holds sufficient tobacco to 
afford the gratification of three whiffs. These 
taken, the ashes are knocked out, and the pipe 
laid down with as much satisfaction as if the 
owner had had an honest smoke of an hour's 
duration. Out of doors the Japanese carries 
his pipe in a leathern case, which, together 
with his tobacco-pouch, is fastened at his 
girdle. Many, even among the poorer classes, 
have at the end of the cord on which pipe and 
pouch are slung, a piece of carved ivory or 
bone. The tobacco smoked by the Japanese 
is home-grown, and to the British taste 
flavourless save for a soupgon of chopped hay. 
Tiny whiffs of smoke were going up from 
many of the groups squatted on the shop floors 
waiting for custom. 

The street was full of pictures. Here was 
a woman washing vegetables in water drawn 
from the street well, with barrel top and 
pulley and rope overhead to haul up the 
bucket. Next door was a cooper's shop, with 
an attractive store of the buckets and dippers, 
which abound in Japanese households. 
Further on was a man mending tins. On the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


opposite side of the road a woman was spread- 
ing ont rice to dry on mats. Her neighbour, 
equally industrious, was carefully stretching 
on a board the blouse she had been washing 
for her husband. Here was a butcher's shop 
with chrysanthemums blooming among the 
shoulders of mutton and ribs of beef. Many 
of the joints had attached to them long strips 
of paper, on which Japanese characters were 
traced in a bold hand. They probably stated 
the price and recommended the quality of the 
meat ; but to the new-comer there was a 
strange incongruity between this learned-look- 
ing caligraphy and a plate of mutton chops. 
The tailors in the shop next door seemed 
familiar enough as they sat cross-legged on 
the floor busily stitching. Of course the 
sixteen-shilling trouser is unknown in Japan ; 
but the Japanese when fully dressed wears a 
surprising number of garments, the making of 
which keeps the tailors busy. 

Another thing that had a home-look was 
the fruit shops, which, as in many parts of 
London, were open to the street ; but in the 
fruit shops, as in all the others, the floor is 
raised only a few inches from the pavement, 
which gives the general idea that the people 
are sitting in the street itself. There wa% a 
grocer's shop with father, mother, and three 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


children squatted round the hibaichi, each 
with a hand over the glowing charcoal, for 
though the sun was up the morning air was 
keen. The man pounding rice next door 
had no need of artificial means to keep him 
warm, nor had the man .carrying water in two 
tubs slung on a bamboo pole and carried 
across his shoulder. This seems an uncom- 
fortable way of getting along with portable 
property; but it is an ancient habit with 
the Japanese, and he makes light of it. If 
the weight be unusually heavy, he eases the 
burden on his shoulder by thrusting a smaller 
bamboo under the larger one, using it as a 
lever which rests on his other shoulder, 
the end being held in his hand. All kinds 
of things are carried in this way. There 
passed us in the street what seemed like a 
bed of chrysanthemums, but was really a 
coolie carrying innumerable pots on two 
trays slung from bamboo in the manner 

There were several cake and sweet shops, 
whose contents were more curious than tooth- 
some. But they had attractions for the count- 
less double-head children who stood aroimd; 
the larger head looked longingly at the boun- 
tifjil stores, whilst the smaller one stared out 
into space, its owner not yet having reached 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


the age when it could covet sweetmeats. 
Through this bright and bustling scene the 
jinrikisha men ran to and fro, laughing and 
chatteriQg as if it were rather fun than other- 
wise to be beasts of burden. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

( 203 ) 


f6te day at asakusa. 

ToKio, the present capital of Japan, is eighteen 
miles from Yokohama, the two towns being 
connected by a line of railway that takes 
fifty minutes to do the journey. On the 
other hand the fare charged is very high, 
being four shillings for a first-class ticket, and 
aU luggage must be paid for. The railway, 
like most of the public works in Japan, was 
constructed by Englishmen, and aU the 
material came from England. It is odd in 
crossing bridges spanning rivers in one of the 
oldest empires in the world to find familiar 
English names from Birmingham or Sheffield. 
The carriages are comfortable and well ap- 
pointed, forming a kind of compromise between 
the English and American system. The 
first and second-class open from end to end, 
the seats being placed longitudinally; but in 
the first-class carriages a party of six can shut 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


themselves in and be comfortable in truly 
English fashion. 

The guards and ticket-collectors are 
dressed in neat uniforms. The stations at 
' both termini are spacious stone buildings, 
with every accommodation, including the 
morning newspapers in the waiting-room. 
Displayed on one of the walls of the station 
is the meteorological report of the day, by 
which the traveller waiting for a train can 
learn how the wind is blowing at Nagasaki 
and under what degree of atmospheric depres- 
sion people are living in Kyoto. The expla- 
nation of the chart is printed in Japanese 
and English. At Yokohama the ticket clerk 
understands enough English to transact 
business with the foreigner. His colleague at 
Tokio is more deliberate, requiring an appre- 
ciable space of time to grasp the fact that he 
is being asked for a ticket for Yokohama. 

But when the ticket oflBce is closed and 
the clerk resting from his labours, the station 
at Tokio is a hard place for the Englishman 
who knows nothing of Japanese. On the day 
of my first visit I had occasion to tell the 
coachman to return and meet me at the 
station at twenty minutes past twelve. I 
tried in various ways to make this clear to 
him. I took him to the clock, pointed to the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


figure twelve, and showed how the minute- 
hand would come to twenty. He had followed 
me throughout with the short, sharp exclama- 
tion, ** Heih ! " with which Japanese servants 
and persons of the lower class indicate that 
they are attending to your instructions and 
will hasten to obey them; but when it was 
all over he bowed to the ground and stood 
looking at the clock. I fancy he thought I 
had been explaining its internal arrangements. 

Nothing could exceed the politeness of the 
officials who happened to be about. They 
crowded round and addressed me at much 
length, but nothing came of it, and we parted 
in despair. After a brief interval of rest, I 
had another struggle with the coachman, with 
the same result. At length, when aU seemed 
dark and my engagement imperilled, the 
coachman said, " Parlez-vous Frangais? " He 
had, it seemed, been to Paris with the Lega- 
tion, and had learned sufficient French to 
make intercourse for the rest of the day 
practically inteUigible. 

Mr. Inouye, the Foreign Minister, had 
been good enough to send one of his secre- 
taries with a carriage to meet us on arrival, 
and we drove what seemed the full length of 
Tokio. Two bettos, or runners, accompanied 
the carriage, and made things lively for the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


population along the ronte. A carriage is a 
rare spectacle in the streets of a Japanese 
town, and wherever one is used the services 
of the betto are indispensable. He runs ahead 
shouting at all comers, and where necessary, 
sometimes without necessity, pushing aside 
people in the roadway. Our bettos, wearing 
the livery of the Foreign Office, were as auto- 
cratic as their brethren in plush in Western 
capitals, and surprised many innocent un- 
offending men by pouncing upon them from 
behind and running them out of the roadway. 
People thus treated made no sign of resent- 
ment. A nation but just delivered from the 
tyranny of the two-sworded men regards 
official bettos as quite gentle creatures. 

Tokio is a widely different place from Yoko- 
hama. The European settlement is but a 
town of yesterday. Tokio, as it is now called, 
Yedo as it was named up to the period of the 
dethronement of the Tycoon, was an impor- 
tant place in the year 1601, when it suffered 
the first of a long series of fires. In 1868 the 
Mikado visited Tokio for the first time, and in 
the following year it became the recognized 
seat of the Government. Its population is 
roughly estimated at a million, but authorities 
fix it at 800,000. This is a large number to 
house in small, two-storied tenements, and 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


accordingly Tokio stretches itself out in all 
directions till it covers an area of eight square 
miles. There is nothing European about it, 
except here and there an official in Petticoat 
Lane dress. There are pavements in the prin- 
cipal streets, but as a rule the people prefer 
the roadway, over which they Hterally swarm. 
We drove through miles of streets, all densely 
populated, with the bettos running on ahead, 
perspiring and shouting with inordinate vigour. 
We were bound for the public gardens at 
Shiba, where a pleasant luncheon was served 
in a tree-embowered cafe. 

Afterwards we went to visit the temple 
of Sen-so-ji, at Asakusa (pronounced Asaksa). 
It was the first fine day after long continued 
rain, and being a festival to boot, it seemed 
that all Tokio had poured into the grounds 
within which the temple stands. The approach 
is banked on either side by long rows of booths, 
which, with the gay and laughing throng, 
make the place seem more like a fair than the 
approach to a famous and venerated temple. 
The fete day belonged to the God of Happi- 
ness, whose favour was secured by the pur- 
chase of a gimcrack contrivance sold in many 
of the booths. This was made of pieces of 
stick crossed at right angles by a thicker 
piece, something after the fashion of a ship's 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


mast and yardarms. The spars were decorated 
with bits of coloured paper, ribbon, and arti- 
ficial flowers. It might have served to while 
away an idle hour with a British two-year-old 
baby. Here it was reverently and hopefully 
carried by grown-up men and women, who 
were taking it home to hang up in an honoured 
place where it would secure happiness for the 
rest of the year. I saw two sailors belonging 
to a Japanese man-of-war carrying one of 
these toys carefully wrapped in paper lest the 
sun might tarnish its glory, or the rude wind 
ruffle it. 

In the booths were sold toys, sweetmeats, 
cakes, tea, sake, these contrivances for securing 
happiness, and seed for the doves that build 
their nests in the roof of the temple. One 
stream was passing upward to the steps of the 
temple, the other returning. Falling in with 
that on the right-hand side, we slowly made 
our way under the hot rays of the November 
sun and amid the dust sent up by the tram- 
pling of 10,000 feet. Our progress was the less 
rapid by reason of the rarity of European 
mixture with such a crowd. The men of our 
party were dismissed from consideration after 
a rapid glance; but the ladies, their dress, 
their bonnets, their gloves, their boots, and 
their way of doing their hair were phenomena 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

f6te day at asakusa. 209 

which must be closely examined, even at the 
risk of bringing the whole procession to a halt. 
There was no rudeness or hustling. It simply 
came to this, that the God of Happiness, of 
his bounty, and incited by many prayers and 
offerings, had crowned the pleasure and excite- 
ment of the day by dropping in among the 
counter attractions of the booths three ladies 
in strange garb, and the most must be made 
of the opportunity. The women gathered 
about and stared with undisguised curiosity. 
They furtively felt the material of dresses and 
cloaks, and were particularly struck by the 
arrangements of the back hair. Their general 
impression appeared to be one of good- 
humoured astonishment, not unmingled with 
pity for unfortunate persons of their sex who, 
either from necessity or choice, thus attired 

By slow degrees we reached the temple 
steps, and stood under the shadow of its over- 
hanging roof. Before the temple is a red 
wooden structure of two stories, designed as 
an entrance gate. A number of large sandals 
were himg up before images of the Two 
Heavenly Kings. They are placed there by 
persons who desire to become good walkers, 
and hereby avoid the necessity of ordinary 
training. Close by was a small altar erected 

VOL. I. 14 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


to Ji-zo, the helper of those who are in trouble 
—a large class in Yedo as elsewhere. Three 
prayer-wheels, attached to as many posts, were 
in momentary nse, men and women patiently 
waiting for their turn. Some of the Japanese 
have the comfortable doctrine that any sin 
which may beset them is due to actions accom- 
plished in a former state of existence. Wish- 
ing to be quit of this sin, they come and turn 
the wheel, praying to the little bronze-and- 
gilt monstrosity squatted above the wheels, 
and even as the wheel revolves this evil 
influence may speedily run its course to 
the end. 

A heap of small pebbles were disposed 
about the image. I thought this was the 
work of a rival sect who had been stoning 
Ji-zo ; but our learned guide informed us 
that they had been brought hither by the 
loving hands of childless mothers, yearning 
for the well-being of little ones they had lost. 
It seems that in the other world there is a 
hag who haunts the river So-dzu-kawa, and 
whenever a little child appears in sight robs it 
of its clothes and sets it to the task of piHng 
up stones on the river bank. These pebbles 
are the mother's oflfering to lighten the task 
of her child. Presently (it must be some time 
in the dead of the night) the good Ji-zo will 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


move his inadequate little legs beneath his 
great paunch, get some expression into the 
inanity of his smooth brazen face, and hie him 
off with the load of pebbles to cheer the little 

At the end of the- row of booths, with its 
many colours and its moving throng, is the 
big red temple. At the top of the steps, 
within view of the screened altar, was a box 
eight feet long and about two wide, covered 
in at the top with a wooden framework of 
gridiron shape. There was no need to ques- 
tion the use of this contrivance. A devout 
multitude thronging the steps showered copper 
coins upon the gridiron, behind which the 
money disappeared and the record ended. The 
act of devotion before the shrine was quickly 
performed, ^he gods of the Buddhist mytho- 
logy have a good deal to do. Like Baal 
whom Elijah mocked, peradventure at the 
moment Kwan-non or Bindzuru is approached 
he sleepeth, or has gone on a journey, and it is 
necessary pointedly to call his attention to the 
petition before him. In most of the temples 
there is a gong with pendant rope, which, 
being puUed, strikes the gong and lets the 
god know that some one is around. 

At Asakusa this desirable end is attained by 
clapping hands. I saw a little baby release its 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


hands from the confinement of its mother's dress 
and clap them whilst it crowed a little prayer. 
The whole business is over in a few seconds. 
Holding out his hands straight before him, the 
worshipper brings his palms together smartly 
two or three times, bends the head over the 
closed palms, mutters a prayer, and goes his 
way, not forgetting the gaping gridiron-box. 

There are many gods in the temple, vary- 
ing in popularity. Closely running Ji-zo in 
the affection of the people is Bindzuru, upon 
whom Buddha conferred the power of curing 
all human ills. There was an eager throng 
round this idol ; men and women of all ages 
gravely rubbing the knee, the back, the chest, 
the foot, or the face of the grotesque image, 
and then rubbing the corresponding part of 
their own body. By this means local affec- 
tions are either alleviated or finally cured. 

Not far from the temple is the Kinzo, a 
structure from which it is evident a smart 
American took the idea of the revolving 
book-case which has found its way to many 
studious homes in England. In this are 
stored a complete edition of the Buddhist 
scriptures, nearly seven thousand volumes in 
all. This library possesses a gift which un- 
happily does not extend to modern modifica- 
tions at home. It is decreed and written over 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



the book-case that any one who will cause 
it to revolve twice on its axis shall have 
secured all the benefits naturally accruing 
from sitting down and reading the books 
through from vol. 1 to vol. 6771 inclusive. 

Another shrine erected to a four-syllable 
god, the spelling of whose name I forget, is 
noticeable for slips of paper stuck on the wire- 
grating. They are placed there by persons 
who have asked this polysyllabic deity to 
grant them a special favour. Although thou- 
sands of slips are attached in the course of a 
week, the aggregate number never increases, 
since the last comer takes away the strip of 
his predecessor and accepts it as the answer 
to his prayer, a game of cross question and 
crooked answer which must sometimes be a 
little embarrassing. 

All this seriously looked at is piteous to 
contemplate. But there is nothing serious 
about the multitude that throng the steps of 
the temple and from its heights are seen surg- 
ing on in apparently endless stream. This is 
a fete day. The sun is shining forth after 
weeks of rain, and they are out for a holiday, 
which they mean to enjoy. They take to 
their pleasure cheerily and gently. There is 
no pushing or jostling, and not a tipsy person 
in the ten thousand. They drink tea, a faintly 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


yellow liquid, out of tiny cups, and if they 
take a cup or two of sake it does not affect 
their outward behaviour. Their politeness is 
unbounded. A man or woman of the poorest 
class approaching an acquaintance bends as 
lowly before him as if he were the Mikado. 
They are always laughing out of pure light- 
heartedness, and do not mar their holiday with 
excess of any kind, unless it be of devotion. 

The train was crowded on the return 
journey, the Japanese evidently taking with 
great readiness to this innovation from 
Europe. Some of them have not yet mastered 
the mystery of the raised bench on which to 
sit with legs pendant. It is odd to see them 
on entering a railway carriage get up on a 
seat and fold their legs under them as if the 
carriage were leaking and they desired to keep 
their feet dry. On the other hand, the 
Japanese who have lived in Europe find a 
difficulty in reverting to the other national 
custom. Sitting next to Mr. Inouye at a 
Japanese dinner, he confided to me that at the 
end of the first hour he had felt a hankering 
after a chair, and I noticed that he took an 
early opportunity of securing one. 

This custom of sitting on a chair at table 
is one of the crucial tests of advance in 
European education. Some years ago, when 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


the Europeanizing policy of the Government 
was finally determined upon, an order was 
issued requiring every official to possess him- 
self of at least one table and four chairs. The 
law must be obeyed ; but it was a noticeable 
fact that no one voluntarily went beyond the 
minimum number, and it must be admitted 
that one table and four chairs do not go far in 
the direction of furnishing a house in Euro- 
pean style. 

I have not noticed any effect upon men of 
this posture involved in the absence of chairs, 
but among the lower classes of women there 
is almost invariably an undesirable crook at 
the knee. This, however, may possibly be 
due to the habit of carrying children on their 
back from the time they are themselves able 
to walk. One other peculiarity about the 
carriage of the Japanese girl or woman is the 
shuffling walk and inturned toes which come 
of going about in clogs and sandals. 

Very few of the European community stay 
in Tokio overnight, the tiresome journey 
between the capital and Yokohama being 
voluntarily undertaken for a double reason. 
There is a very poor European hotel at 
Tokio, and a most excellent one at Yoko- 
hama. I had heard beforehand of the Grand 
Hotel as the best hostelry in the East, and 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


after a week's residence am able to confirm 
the statement. The proprietors are French, 
and through all the meals of the day preserve 
their national reputation as cooks. The 
waiters speak English, more or less, and their 
civility knows no hounds. 

One day at tiffin I heard an Englishman 
order a couple of pancakes, '* and a lemon," 
he added impressively. " Heih ! " said the 
waiter, and his tightly clothed legs rapidly 
carried him out of the room. A long interval 
followed, hut pancakes are not made in a 
minute, and besides there was the lemon. At 
length the waiter returned, and briskly walk- 
ing up to the expectant Englishman presented 
him with three pins set forth on a plate. It 
is not customary among the Japanese to in- 
clude a dish of pins in the midday meal ; but 
foreigners eat all sorts of things, and under- 
standing that pins were ordered, this obKging 
young man procured them regardless of 
personal trouble. 

On returning to Yokohama we went in 
search of a real Japanese curio, to wit, a suit 
comprising straw cloak, with hat and sandals 
to match. These were not to be bought 
in Main Street, or in any other of the 
thoroughfares where Europeans trade. Our 
jinrikisha men undertook to take us to a 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


shop, and trotted off deKghted to the Japanese 
quarter. The shop-keeper was an old lady 
with blackened teeth and scanty skirt, which 
last did not prevent her from climbing up a 
ladder to bring some of her newest goods from 
beneath the rafters where they were stored. 
The bargaining was chiefly pantomimic, and 
was carried on with great success. It is a 
long time since jinrikisha men spent so 
joyous a quarter of an hour. One, constituting 
himself shop-assistant to the old lady, flung 
the straw cloak over his shoulders, and slowly 
turned round, so that we might study its cut 
and fit, he and his colleague laughing the 
while like children in possession of a new toy. 
When we tried them on ourselves they roared 
with laughter, and as by this time half the 
street had congregated round the shop, the 
scene grew into one of mad memment. 

When we had completed the purchase, the 
old lady produced one of the ready-reckoners 
which are found in every shop in Japan, from 
the bank counter to the matted floor of the 
dealer in straw sandals. It consists of a small 
oblong box with rows of cane stretched cross- 
ways. On these are strung a kind of bone 
button, with which skilled fingers play, and in 
an incredibly short space of time work out the 
sum. At the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


at Tokohama, an aflfable Chinese, in the 
twinkling of an eye, works out an intricate 
sum involving the minutest fractions in value 
of exchange. With not less readiness did the 
old lady with the black teeth and the inade- 
quate skirt work out the sum of my indebted- 
ness, charging no.t a sen more to the foreigner 
than she would have done to the jinrikisha 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

( 219 y 


THE mikado's BIETHDAT f6tE. 

This (November 3) is the Mikado's birth- 
day, and his faithful people, who do not often 
have the chance of beholding his sacred 
person, have had opportunity provided of at 
least looking upon the closed carriage that 
contained it, and the horses that drew it. 
Mutsu Hito, the reigning Emperor of Japan, 
was bom in Kioto, on the 3rd of November, 
1862. He succeeded to the throne on the death 
of his father, on the 13th of February, 1867, 
and was crowned at Kioto in October of the 
following year. It is customary for Mikados 
to select a name to designate the era of their 
reign. Mutsu Hito calls his era " Mei-ji," 
and in all official documents and records time 
is so kept. Thus it was in the first year 
of Mei-ji (February 9, 1869) that the Emperor 
took him to wife Haruko, daughter of a 
Japanese noble of the first rank, who is 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


two. years the junior of her Imperial consort. 
Of this union there are two children — ^Yoshi- 
Hito, the Prince Imperial, now in his third 
year, and Akika, a Httle girl two years of age. 
Mutsu Hito is the hundred and twenty-first 
Emperor of a family that runs back in 
unbroken line to Jimmu Jenno, a warrior 
king who reigned six hundred and sixty 
years before Christ. 

The celebration of the august event to-day 
commenced with a review of the troops in a 
large open space adjoining the Foreign OflBce. 
By eight o'clock in the morning some eight 
thousand men, horse, foot, and artillery, 
were under arms. Half an hour later came 
the foreign Ministers, in full uniform, and 
the small number of private persons privileged 
to enter the enclosures. Outside in the broad 
street that flanks the review-ground, and 
along which his Majesty would drive, there 
were gathered a few thousand spectators; 
but, considering the rarity and importance 
of the occasion, popular excitement was kept 
weU in hand. In the bay the foreign men- 
of-war were flagged, and in due time salutes 
were fired. The Foreign Office was gaily 
decked with arches of evergreen and chrysan- 
themum, and displayed festoons of Chinese 
lanterns in anticipation of the night's festivi- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

THE mikado's birthday f^jte. 221 

ties. But for the most part Tokio went its 
ordinary way, scarcely seeming to know that 
this was the anniversary of a stupendous event. 

A few minutes after nine o'clock the white 
plumes of the Lancers of the Imperial Body 
Guard were seen advancing along the road. 
In the middle of the escort was a plain 
brougham, with closed windows, drawn by 
a pair of bay horses. As the cavalcade passed 
through the crowd in the streets no cheer 
was raised or sign of welcome or recognition 
given on either hand. When the Mikado's 
carriage entered the grounds the silence was 
broken by the thunder of artillery and the 
strains of three bands, all playing the national 
anthem. The brilliant throng of foreign 
Ministers, plumed and epauletted — ^many of 
them wearing the insignia of high orders — 
were gathered in a pavilion near the saluting 
poiut. Close by us was a smaller tent, em- 
broidered with the Imperial chrysanthemum. 
Inside was set a richly lacquered chair and 
a table covered with a gorgeous cloth. 

In attendance were a number of dismal- 
looking men, with respect to whom it was, 
after prolonged consideration, hard to decide 
whether they were mutes from a funeral es- 
tabHshment or city waiters who had been up all 
night. They were dressed in black European 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


suits made for somebody else, and apparently 
not out of the clothes-press since the last birth- 
day. Each had a chimney-pot hat, of various 
antique makes, and every man's hands were 
loosely hidden in white-cotton gloves several 
sizes too large. These were, I finally ascer- 
tained, the servants of the Imperial household 
in their best clothes. 

The Mikado, leaving the brougham, mounted 
a nice little bay pony with yellow reins, and, 
followed by his staff and miUtary attaches 
of the foreign Ministries, slowly rode round 
the ranks of the soldiery stiffly standing at 
attention. The Mikado is thirty-one years 
of age, tall, bat not graceful in figure. He 
has the sallow complexion and black hair of 
the Japanese. Except for something of sen- 
suahty about the thick lips and heavy jaws, 
his face has about as much expression as a 
brick wall. His seat on horseback is the 
most remarkable I ever saw. Holding a 
yellow rein in either hand, with elbows squared, 
he leaned over the pony's neck as if he were 
about to get off in that direction without 
assistance. Thus he sat whilst he walked 
the pony round, and thus he remained, 
blankly staring straight ahead whilst the 
troops marched past. 

The start was a little unfortunate. One 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

THE mikado's birthday f^te. 223 

of the princes of the Imperial family lost the 
epaulette from his left shoulder, and was 
nearly thrown whilst endeavouring to fasten 
it on. Half-way across the review-ground the 
Minister of War's horse bolted, presently 
depositing its rider in the roadway, where he 
was picked up and brought back in a carriage 
happily unhurt. But what an augury at a 
military display of a great Empire ! 

The Mikado, always desperately clutching 
the yellow reins, walked his pony round the 
field in safety, and taking up his position at 
the saluting point, the march past began. As 
a military display the review can scarcely 
have been imposing to the German Minister 
who critically surveyed the scene. Imme- 
diately after the Eestoration the French army 
was taken as the model of the Imperial forces 
of Japan. After Sedan it was thought that 
on the whole the German system would be a 
a safer model. Amid these changes the 
Japanese regiments have not perfected them- 
selves in drill. But the men, though small, 
are hardy fellows, and, as was shown during 
the Satsuma rebellion and in other civil wars, 
they are full of fight. 

The honours of the day were unanimously 
voted to the artillery, who trotted past in 
smart style. The soldiers of the line were 

Digitized by 



dressed in varieties of blue faced with red. 
The band came out in rainbow tints of sky- 
blue coats, red trousers with gold stripes, and 
white plumes in their helmets. As the Im- 
perial Guard strode past the band played a 
march into which at brief intervals the air of 
" God Save the Queen " was introduced. 

The review over, the Mikado dismounted 
and withdrew to his tent. Hearing that there 
were two foreign visitors present, an English 
M.P. and the present writer, he graciously 
intimated his desire that they should be pre- 
sented. This was an act of condescension 
suflScient to cause his hundred and twenty 
predecessors on the Imperial throne to turn 
in their tombs. But it was nothing to what 
followed. There were two ladies on the ground 
— one the wife of the hon. baronet alluded to, 
and the other a young American lady. These 
also the Mikado desired should be presented, 
a ceremony gracefully performed in full view 
of the astonished army. 

Mr. Trench, the British Charge d'Affairs, 
told me that this was the first time such a 
thing had been done in the history of Japan, 
where Court etiquette is preserved with 
fantastic strictness, and strangers, above all 
ladies, approach the Imperial presence only 
through difficult and well-regulated processes 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

THE mikado's birthday F^ITE. 225 

of preparation and ceremony. The incident 
may appear trifling in a grave narrative, but it 
really marks an era in the Court life of Japan. 

The presentations over, the Emperor re- 
turned to his palace, where at eleven o'clock 
he entertained the Foreign Ministers at break- 
fast. This was, I gathered from one present, 
a portentous affair. The Mikado was seated 
by himself at a table raised on a dais. At 
another table a few feet distant were the 
princes of the Imperial family. The repre- 
sentatives of foreign Powers sat by themselves 
at a third table. The solenm gravity of the 
occasion was relieved by the difficulty atten- 
dant upon the disposal of the food. The meal 
was served strictly in Japanese fashion, with 
the exception of the use of tables and chairs ; 
but there were no knives or forks, only chop- 

I have reason to believe that in antici- 
pation of the ordeal more than one of their 
Excellencies had spent some time on the pre- 
vious day practising. But the art of eating 
with chopsticks is not learned in a day, and 
the efforts made on behalf of England, France, 
and Germany to secure a mouthful of rice or 
a piece of fish were not wholly successful. 
The only Minister who was fully at home was 
the Chinese, who triumphantly plied his 

VOL. I. 16 

Digitized by CjOOQ IC 


chopsticks, conscious that here, at least, 
France had no chance with him. 

All the food was placed on the table at 
once, and with it a wooden box of consider- 
able size. Eegarded as a specimen of modem 
Japanese decoration, the box was perfectly 
hideous, being picked out with white flowers 
and bright green leaves. It opened in a series 
of trays, after the fashion of a lacquered box. 
On each tray was a supply of food, fish, jelly, 
vegetables, seaweed, and sweetmeats. On 
leaving, each Minister found one of these 
boxes in his carriage — a delicate and hospit- 
able attention with which the Mikados have 
been wont through a thousand years to speed 
the parting guest. With the plain wooden 
box containing the meats was presented a 
beautiful little porcelain cup, from which the 
guest was supposed to have drunk his sake. 
The wooden box, with its green leaves, its 
white flowers, and its uninviting cold meats, 
was a thing to be got rid of as quickly as 
possible ; but this little cup, with the Royal 
chrysanthemums in gold shining upon it, 
w^ould fittingly remain as a souvenir of the 
interesting occasion. 

In the evening Madame Inouye, the wife 
of the Foreign Minister, gave a reception at 
the Foreign Office, to which eight hundred 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

THE mikado's birthday f^te. 227 

guests were bidden. The Japanese never 
dance — they get it done for them. But on 
this occasion, a considerable proportion of the 
guests being foreigners, dancing was provided 
for and thoroughly enjoyed. It was pleasing 
to find most of the Japanese ladies, including 
the hostess, arrayed in their own graceful and 
becoming dress. The gentlemen were, with- 
out exception, in European dress. Everything 
about the arrangements was European, in- 
cluding the supper, furnished on a scale of 
Eoyal magnificence. Each guest on entering 
was presented with the programme of the 
dances, bearing the famiUar imprint, '*De la 
Eue." The band played Enghsh dance music, 
and with the exception of a little difficulty in 
the Lancers — abruptly closed in the middle of 
the fifth figure — ^it got on admirably. Many 
of the Japanese ladies were very pretty, and 
took a keen interest in the dancing, which 
seemed to betoken that at no distant day this 
European custom will be added to the others 
that already dominate Japan. 

At supper I noticed one charming little 
Japanese lady execute a neat manoeuvre with 
a plate of cakes which she had on her knee. 
Diving into the voluminous recesses of her 
sleeve, she produced a piece of paper, and 
daintily wrapping up one of the cakes, put it 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


into her sleeve, repeating the peculation with 
the assistance of the other sleeve. Scarcely 
was this accompKshed when Mr. Inouye came 
by and stopped to talk to her. ' It was pretty 
to see the winning, innocent look with which 
she conversed with her host, all the time 
conscious of these two pieces of his cake in 
her guilty sleeves. 

The Imperial share in the festivities of the 
season was brought to a conclusion some days 
later by a garden party given in the grounds 
of the Palace. The Mikado, but a few years 
ago a sacred personage as jealously hidden 
from the vulgar gaze as is the miraculously 
discovered image of Kwan'non in the Temple 
of Sen-so-ji, has now been educated up to the 
point of holding two garden parties in a year. 
One is in the time of the cherry blossom, the 
other of the blooming of the chrysanthemum. 
Just now the chrysanthemum is brightening 
all the iighways and by-ways of Japan, and 
the Sovereign Lord, whose family have for 
centuries worn the flower as their crest, bade 
some five hundred guests to see the show in 
his Palace grounds. Eegarded as a flower 
show, there is nothing in the world equal to 
the spectacle. Three single plants, occupying 
a shed of considerable size, displayed between 
them over twelve hundred perfect flowers. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

THE mikado's BIBTHDAY FjfeTE. 229 

One counted 413, and the others were less 
only by few units. In Japan the art of the 
gardener seems to be guided in tli^e direction 
of producing a chrysanthemum of feathery 
form and delicacy, long slender petals rising 
in exquisite fringe- Of these there were 
abundant specimens, perhaps nothing rare in 
colour, hut in development of size and grace- 
ful form beyond anything dreamt of in the 
Temple Gardens. 

The flowers were worth spending an after- 
noon with ; but far more curious and striking 
was the Japanese Court taking the leading 
part in this modem Western institution of a 
garden party. The Mikado, dressed, alas ! in 
European costume, received his guests in a 
room opening out into the garden. On hi^ 
left stood the Empress, gorgeously and stiflBy 
arrayed in scarlet robes. In Japan, as in 
some countries further West, the Imperial 
colour is red. Walking through the gardens 
after the reception, I picked up the crimson 
heel of a shoe, and a few paces ahead saw one 
of the princesses ambling along with one heel 
on the ground and the other raised fuU two 
inches high, with Imperial affectation of 
nothing particular having happened. 

The Empress wore a voluminous cloak of 
red silk, richly brocaded with white chrysan- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


themums. The wide drooping sleeves opening, 
disclosed vistas of a yellowy pea-green. An 
under-skirt of red of darker shade, with scarlet 
shoes, tipped forward by uncomfortably high 
heels, completed a costume many sizes too 
large and bulky for a Uttle person. This was 
marvellous, but the crowning grace was the 
arrangement of her hair. It was flattened 
out something in the shape of an immense 
banjo, of the thickness of a little finger, the 
tail being bound with knots of paper such as 
mutton cutlets are trimmed with, save the 
fringe. Her face was powdered to a ghastly 
white, reUeved by a dash of crimson on the 
lower lip. 

In spite of all this the Empress has a pretty 
face, favourably contrasting with the stolid 
countenance of her Hege lord. The Imperial 
princesses were dressed much the same in 
respect of colour, the ladies of the Court 
running to purple and green. All the ladies 
had their hair dressed in the banjo style, 
with some slight variation in the mutton-cutlet 
paper trimming. 

The ceremony of presentation was very 
simple. The guests, being passed by the 
officers of the household at the entrance, 
advanced to the end of the room where their 
Imperial Majesties stood surrounded by their 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

THE mikado's bibthday f^te. 231 

Court, and made their obeisance first to the 
Mikado, then to the Empress, and retiring 
backward, disappeared in the gardens. The 
Mikado stood impassive, staring straight 
before him; the Empress, like a pretty wax 
figure endowed with eyes, showed some 
curious interest in the two or three European 
guests, but neither acknowledged the saluta- 
tion. After the first presentations were over 
the great body of the guests did not advance 
up the room, but bowed on entering and again 
on vanishing through the doorway into the 
garden. At the further end of the grounds 
there were three bands of music, which inces- 
santly and distractingly played together the 
melancholy, monotonous tune which is the 
national anthem of Japan. The only variety 
contributed to the proceedings by the bands 
lay in the fact that the one drafted from the 
navy was clad in scarlet, whilst the army 
contingent was in light blue. 

A magnificent luncheon was spread in 
a marquee, at the upper end of which was a 
pavilion tent with a table set at right angles 
with the longer one. After a due interval the 
Mikado, with the Empress on his left, and the 
many-hued Court following, strolled through 
the grounds towards the tent. The Mikado, 
who does not speak any language but his own, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


halted here and there before one or other of 
the Foreign Ministers, of whom there was a 
full muster. His Majesty's conversational 
powers are not exhaustive. He, without look- 
ing at the Minister, addressed a few mono- 
syllabic remarks to the interpreter. The 
Minister, bowing low, made courteous re- 
sponse, and the image of Imperial authority, 
as if wound up afresh, moved on, and went 
through the same formula with the represen- 
tative of some other of the Great Powers, who 
are keenly watching the great and interesting 
country he rules, but does not govern. Several 
ladies were presented to the Empress, and 
found in her a less immobile acquaintance. 

The Mikado and his consort were led to the 
table under the smaller tent, where they took 
their seat at a table loaded with the choicest 
viands and abundant wine. The princes of 
the Imperial family, of whom there were some 
half-dozen present in miUtary or naval uni- 
form, seated themselves at some distance 
below the Mikado, on the right. The prin- 
cesses sat below the Empress, on the left, 
and below them were disposed the purple 
and green clad ladies of the Court. Mr. 
Inouye, who had stood on the left of the 
Empress during the presentations, now hospit- 
ably engaged himself on behalf of the guests. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

THE mikado's BIBTHDAY FJ^TE. 233 

No one would have guessed that the plainly 
dressed gentleman who always kept in the 
hackground, looking from afar upon the 
pageantry of the Court, was Mr. Ito, one of 
the main factors in the new Empire of Japan. 
He now busied himself carrying about plates 
of salad, cold meat, and glasses of wine, his 
principal State care seeming to be that the 
Emperor's guests should feel themselves per- 
fectly at home. 

Wine was poured out and served to the 
circle at the Imperial table; but, following 
the example of the Mikado, no one ate or 
drank, and his Majesty, after staring straight 
before him for the space of a quarter of an 
hour, rose and passed away, with the rainbow 
throng of red, and green, and purple ladies in 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 




The ball at the Foreign Office was over at 
half-past one, and four hours later I was 
awakened by the chamberman at the hotel 
announcing ^* bath leddy." Had I been able 
to consult my private inclination I would have 
let the bath remain ready for an indefinite 
period, and continued my sleep. But we were 
on a pleasure trip, and in order thoroughly to 
enjoy yourself private inclination must fre- 
quently be sacrificed. We were bound for 
Nikko, taking the first stage of the journey 
by train, and the station was about as far off 
as it could possibly get and stiU be in Tokio. 
We were in the jinrikishas by a quarter-past 
six, and the train started at seven. But Ito, 
our guide, was already fearful that we should 
miss the train. Two men were harnessed to 
each jinrikisha, and away we went at incre- 
dible speed through waking, yawning Tokio. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


A jinrikisha man thoroughly enjoys him- 
self when he is running in couples with a 
train of jinrikishas. The spirit of competition 
sends him hounding along at racing speed, 
which he will keep up for miles. The way he 
turns a comer is enough to whiten the hair 
in a day's journey. " Aye, heep ! " he shouts, 
and dashes round, with the jinrikisha sway- 
ing over on one wheel. Before we had gone 
half a mile I felt thoroughly convinced that 
the jinrikishas would he in time to catch the 
train ; but where I should be, depended upon 
the particular comer at which the rickety 
Uttle carriage gave an extra lurch. 

It seems cruel work for the men, who 
frequently run along bareheaded, with the per- 
spiration dropping off their face like rain ; but 
both they and their fares get used to it in 
time, and certainly the men make no com- 
plaint. Count Zalusky, the Austrian Minister, 
who has just arrived and sees Japan for the 
first time, teUs me he has already learned one 
Japanese word, which being translated means 
** go slower." This he constantly addresses to 
his jinrikisha men when they break into any- 
thing beyond a trot. But whether owing to 
imperfect accent or to wilful disregard of the 
kindly meant injunction, he finds that nothing 
comes of it. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


** Aye, heep ! " Our men dashed on round 
comers and through narrow alleys, startling 
women, frightening children, and only by 
utmost dexterity avoiding collisions. There 
seemed no end to Tokio, but it came at last, 
and we found ourselves at the station, with 
fully ten minutes to spare. 

The train was very full, and though we had 
paid for first-class tickets we were glad to find 
seats in a second-class carriage. This line, 
which goes in a north-westerly direction from 
Tokio, is only partly open, but the people of the 
locaUty lose no time in availing themselves of it. 
We went as far as Kumagai, passing through 
a pretty country cultivated with loving hand. 
Here we saw, what became familiar enough in 
subsequent journeying in the interior, the 
newly harvested rice hung up to dry round the 
trunks of trees, where on moonlight nights it 
stands out in the landscape like great ghosts. 

At Kumagai the jinrikisha man appeared 
in his true colours, which are almost entirely 
fleshlike. It is a Uttle startling to the 
foreigner landing at Yokohama to discover a 
race of half-clad men. But the Yokohama 
coolie is overdressed as compared with his 
brethren in the interior. If when he is run- 
ning the country cooHe, in addition to a loin- 
cloth of narrowest limits, wears a blouse 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


coming down to his waist, he has sacrificed 
much on the altar of decency. It is quite as 
common to meet one with nothing on but a 
pair of sandals and a pocket-handkerchief girt 
about his loins. 

On entering the tea-house at Kumagai to 
wait whilst Ito arranged matters with the 
coolies, the women, kneeling on the floor and 
bending their heads till they touched the 
ground, murmured words of welcome. One 
brought us tea in tiny cups, from which we 
drank without finding refreshment. Japanese 
tea is a weak and almost tasteless beverage of 
a pale yellow colour, served without sugar or 
milk. Its chief recommendation is that it is 
brought in small quantities, and if courtesy 
compels one to drink it the infliction is not 
serious. Always remembering that we were 
on a pleasure trip, having drunk the tea we 
ordered sake. This liquid, upon the manufac- 
ture of which much good rice is wasted, was 
stored in a clean-looking little tub in the part 
of the house that would be the kitchen when 
the panels were up. Drawing out the spigot, 
the landlady filled two small blue and white 
jars, such as are used in England for holding a 
single flower. These she deposited for a few 
minutes in hot water, serving the sake luke- 
warm. It tasted as if it had been procured 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


by washing out a decanter that had held sherry, 
and leaving the liquid to acquire a fine stale 

With the sak^ was brought a little pot of 
pickles, chiefly consisting, as far as I was able 
to identify the ingredients, of sour turnip and 
sodden celery. The very smell of this dish, 
which the soul of Japanese loveth, is enough 
to make a European ill. I first detected it at 
a house in Yokohama, and thought the drains 
were out of order. At a dainty and costly 
Japanese dinner at which a week later I was 
privileged to sit, a plate of these pickles, 
vilely smelling, was served to each guest, and 
I noticed the Japanese ladies and gentlemen 
ate it with gusto. 

Kumagai is a busy little place, doing a big 
business in cotton and the eggs of silkworms. 
An industry that is even more in evidence is 
that of basket-making. These, woven of bam- 
boo, are of all shapes and sizes, are wonderfully 
cheap, and are the prettiest things imaginable. 
As in all other Japanese villages we visited, 
everybody in Kumagai was hard at work. 
There was, it is true, a temporary cessation of 
labour on the part of a body of men, women, 
and children who followed us round dumbly 
staring. But generally the people went on with 
their work, evidently pleased with the atten- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


tion it attracted from the foreigners. All tlie 
implements in use were of the most primitive 
description. A gang of fourteen men were 
driving piles preparatory to building a struc- 
ture of heavier cast than the average Japanese 
house. Standing on a scaffold, the fourteen 
men hoisted the ram a few feet, and letting go 
their hold, it fell with whatever impetus was 
to be derived from the height it dropped. In 
precisely the same way we saw a gang of men 
driving piles for a bridge some fifty miles inland. 
A common object in Japanese towns and 
villages is the rice-pounder. A man, or some- 
times a woman, steps on the end of a long 
beam, at the other end of which a stout piece 
of wood is fixed at right angles. The weight 
of the man raises this beam, and when he 
steps off it falls into the scoop filled with rice, 
by which treadmill work an appreciable portion 
is pounded. The same primitive kind of tools 
are in use through all the earlier processes of 
rice growing. The rice harvest was in full 
swing as we drove along, and Sunday though 
it was, there was no cessation of labom-, whether 
in field or homestead. In a journey of nearly 
two hundred and fifty miles through this por- 
tion of the interior I did not see a single 
plough. In the course of a subsequent 
journey through the southern portion of the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


island I saw two miserable little things 
which a man could easily lift, drawn by an 
undersized ox. In almost universal use is 
the earliest idea of a plough. It is a spade, 
with a narrow blade about three feet long. 
The farmer thrusts this well into the soil, and 
turning it over on one side, makes a furrow, 
the action and the result being identical with 
that of a plough. Only, watching the laborious 
process, one thinks of the enormous strides 
agriculture will take in Japan when these rude 
instruments are cast aside and the plough is 
put to work. 

When the rice is cut and dried it is stripped 
by the simple process of drawing the heads 
through a smaU iron comb, which does a hand- 
ful at a time. It is threshed by a flail pre- 
cisely of the same make as that in use in the 
threshing-floor of Nachon, what time Uzzah 
put forth his hand to steady the oxk of God 
that David was bringing up from Kirjath- 
Jearim. When the rice is stripped, it is laid 
out to dry on mats spread in the sun. In 
passing through a village these mats covered 
with rice are frequently to be seen flanking 
the fall length of the road on both sides. 

Japan has many arts. Porcelain and earth- 
enware are manufactured in every province. 
Its enamellers on copper have no rivals in the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


world. It has workers in bronze, carvers of 
ivory, and is the home of lacquer work. But 
it is essentially an agricultural country living 
by the fruit of its land. According to the last 
census, taken in 1880, the total population 
was thirty-six millions, and of these nearly 
sixteen millions were farmers in almost equal 
proportion of sexes. Under the present order 
of things, dating from the revolution of 1868, 
the people own the land, paying tax for it to 
the Government. About three-tenths of the 
tilled land of Japan is in the hand of small 
proprietors, who, with their wives and children, 
do all the farm work. Of the balance, though 
held in larger sections, there is nothing akin 
to the large farms of England, 

In addition to the population returned as 
farmers, there is a considerable proportion of 
farm labourers. An able-bodied farm hand 
receives wages at about the rate of tenpence 
a day, with board. As he is almost a vege- 
tarian, his food does not cost much, consisting 
chiefly of rice, barley, peas, beans, and turnips, 
with occasional relishes in the shape of eggs 
or salt fish. Eice is the principal product of 
the empire, being grown in all its provinces^ 
Tea, silk, and cotton come next, and, in 
addition, there are grown tobacco, wheat, 
barley, millet, peas, and beans. Of late years 

VOL. I. 16 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


much attention has been given to the culture 
of grapes, and the Japanese are not without 
hope that within the next ten years they may 
introduce and popularize in Europe a new 

In a barber's shop at Kumagai we saw a 
man at work in a pink costume of unusual 
fulness. This was a convict out for the day. 
It is the custom of Japan to permit convicts 
under certain conditions to go out and ply 
their trades, the money received being 
credited to them when the term of their 
imprisonment is complete. At Tokio we saw 
a gang working as excavators. These, labour- 
ing in a populous town, were Ughtly chained 
to each other to prevent any mistakes. At 
Kumagai, being a small place, and opportu- 
nities for escape being limited, the convict 
barber was at large, being simply under bond 
to return to prison when he had shaved his 

We took a short cut out of Kumagai, pass- 
ing through fields and long hamlets rarely 
visited by the foreigner. It was terribly 
rough, though full of interest at every step. 
Our cooUes were in high spirits at the pro- 
spect of extra pay and an engagement to last 
for a week. They rushed along through holes 
and over boulders, shouting warnings to each 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


other as they came to a fresh obstacle. At 
noon we came to a broad river, which we 
crossed, jinrikisha and all, in a ferry boat. 
There was a strong current running down, but 
the boatman using a single pole skilfully 
punted us across. There was a good deal of 
traffic, junks sailing down to Tokio with 
country produce. They had curious sails 
made in slips, sometimes laced together, but 
not unfrequently flying loose, like so many 
ribbons. This kind of sail is in use on all the 
inland seas of Japan. By its means the force 
of the wind is regulated. When a Japanese 
sailor wants to take in a reef he unlaces one 
or more of these strips and the amount of 
sail is reduced accordingly. 

We stopped for tiffin on the other side of 
the river and had our first taste of Ito's 
cookery. He is the guide who served his 
apprenticeship with Miss Bird, and proved a 
perfect treasure. In height he is fully five 
feet, and, according to English reckoning, is 
twenty-one years old, though habits of reflec- 
tion and constant searching after fresh know- 
ledge made him look forty. In mentioning 
his age, with the proviso that it was " accord- 
ing to Enghsh way of reckoning," he explained 
that according to Japanese custom age is 
counted from the first day of January succeed- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


ing birth. At that date a child is one year 
old, whether born the previous January, at 
Midsummer, or on the 31st of December. Ito 
made an excellent omelette, which, with a 
dish of cold tongue and a cup of cocoa, com- 
pleted a luxurious luncheon. After an hour's 
rest we were off again, and presently reached 
the Bei-hei-shi-kaido, the road which used to 
be followed by the Envoy of the Mikado in 
his annual pilgrimage to the tomb of the first 
Shogun at Nikko. This road, one of the great 
highways of Japan, is in a condition almost as 
bad as the road leading citywards from the 
steamboat wharf at New York. I understand 
that improvement will shortly take place in 
this respect. Mr. Ito, the Minister of State, 
recently made a journey over the road, and re- 
ceived a strong impression that the Prefect 
might find more useful opening for his energy 
elsewhere. He was accordingly removed, a 
new Prefect appointed, and already the long- 
delayed work of road-mending has commenced. 
As it was, we were frequently compelled to 
make dStours in the woods and fields that flank 
the highway. In one of these, seamed with 
the roots of ancient trees, a young gentleman 
from Glasgow, companion of our voyage, was 
pitched out. He took great credit to him- 
self and to his gymnastic training that, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


whereas the jinrikislia fell on the left side, he 
tumbled out on the right. But it is easy 
enough, for I presently did it myself, and Ito, 
whom long practice has enabled to bring to 
high perfection the art of sleeping in a jin- 
rikisha, was frequently picked up by the 

This road is for many miles a magnificent 
avenue of cryptomeria. Tall solemn trees 
flank the road on either side, often interlacing 
at the top. The avenue was planted in a 
bygone age by a Daimio who desired to do 
honour to the Shogun. The tombs of the 
Shoguns both at Shiba and Nikko are sur- 
rounded by costly presents from the old 
nobility, who thereby performed a pious act,, 
and at the same time ingratiated themselves 
with the ruKng powers. This offering of a 
few thousand puny cuttings planted by the 
roadside was sneered at at the time as a cheap 
and inadequate way of performing a duty. 
Now, there is nothing either in stone or metal 
that equals this magnificent avenue raised to 
the glory of the Shoguns. 

We spent the night at Tochigi, having 
done thirty-five miles in the jinrikisha. At 
the thirty- second mile the leader of my 
tandem team stopped to tie his straw sandal, 
The wheeler with a merry laugh bowled on. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


ahead, and having got a few minutes' start, 
kept it up till the other coolie overtook him 
and took his share in the pulling again. 
When we reached the tea-house the coolies 
washed their feet, covered their semi-naked- 
ness with their cotton blouses, and sat down, 
contented and happy, to their evening meal. 
This consisted of two soups, which always 
introduce a Japanese dinner, a bowl of rice, 
some eggs, and a dubious vegetable ; a meal 
not too heavy after the day's work, and with 
the prospect of one on the morrow equally 
exhausting. For liquid refreshment they had 
had a cup or two of tasteless tea, the banquet 
being rounded off by three whiffs from their 
iniputian pipes. 

As for us all preconceived notions of per- 
sonal discomfort, and even semi-starvation 
when travelling in the interior, were agree- 
ably dispelled. We had two rooms on an 
upper floor, spotlessly clean, the straw mat- 
ting shining with polish, and the walls par- 
tially formed of painted screens. There were 
a table and three chairs, which looked 
grotesquely out of place, but were neverthe- 
less acceptable. The tea-house provided a 
small oil lamp and one of those large circular 
white-paper lanterns which, with the expen- 
diture of a little oil burned through two wicks 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


like wax matches, diffuse a surprising quantity 
of soft light. We had brought candles, and 
two of these stuck in bottles, completed an 
illumination that left nothing to be desired. 
For dinner we had mulligatawney soup, roast 
mutton, and curry with rice — soup and meat 
out of tins it is true, but skilfully rendered by 
Ito. This is a fair specimen of our meals 
throughout the trip, whence it will appear that 
with a little forethought and a good guide 
travel has no unusual discomfort in Japan. 

I went over before dinner to see the public 
baths. They consisted of a room about 
twenty feet long and eighteen broad. At the 
further end were two tanks of hot water 
steaming. In one three men were sitting up 
to their necks, placidly enjoying the refresh- 
ment. In the other were as many women. 
It cannot be said with literal exactness that 
men and women bathe together; but the 
partition is not jealously fixed. 

In all tea-houses there is a bath varying in 
size and convenience with the importance of 
the house. At Tochigi the bath was a recess 
about twelve feet square. As we passed it on 
the way to our room, two young men, stark 
naked, were drying themselves after their bath. 
I do not like positively to make so grave an 
assertion without proof; but I have strong 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


reason to believe that later, just before going 
to bed, the servants of the tea-house, male and 
female, took their bath in company. 

Our bed was made up on the floor. The 
process of bed-making consists of laying down 
two or three wadded quilts; then come our 
own sheets, brought from Yokohama, and one 
or more quilts completed the operation. The 
Japanese do not use a pillow in our sense of 
the word. They have a small piece of wood 
something like a clog in shape, and not 
exceeding it in size. On this they lay their 
heads, the girls and women serene in the 
consciousness that their hair will not be 
disarranged. The wonderful structure of a 
Japanese head-dress is usually made up once 
in four days. It is evident that if it were 
touzled on a down pillow it would have to be 
dealt with every day. Not weighted with the 
responsibihty of such a coiffurey we were glad 
to have for pillow one of the quilts rolled up, 
and slept as comfortably as in the best bed in 

Amongst the many evils predicted in ad- 
vance of the excursion was the incessant 
attack of fleas, which are reported to abound 
in Japan* Probably owing to the colder 
weather, and in something due to the strategic 
use of insect powder, we were throughout all 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


this tour, and on a subsequent one in the 
south, entirely free from this pest. We had 
for personal attendants in the tea-house two 
young daughters of the proprietor, as merry 
as crickets, and regarding the advent of 
strangers as a huge joke which it behoved 
them thoroughly to enjoy. They had very 
pretty ways, kneeling on the threshold of the 
room as they entered, kneeling again when 
they withdrew, and always presenting food 
in this attitude of graceful humility. They 
chattered all through the meal, regardless of 
our ignorance of their language. The lady of 
the party was a subject of never-fading 
interest. As usual, it was the arrangement of 
the back hair that chiefly attracted them. 

I got a cold bath in the morning under 
somewhat perilous circumstances, seeing that 
there was no door to the bath-room and that 
the passage was the common one of the house. 
But no one else seemed to mind particularly. 
Other guests and members of the household 
freely entered to perform their morning ablu- 
tions. There was in one part of the room 
a small wooden bowl of salt. To this every 
one came, took out a few pinches, and washed 
his mouth. Apart from the bath-rooms, the 
arrangements for a morning wash were very 
simple. An open gallery runs round the 

Digitized by CjOOQiC 


sleeping rooms. Here are placed a tub of 
water. You bring your own soap and towels 
if regarding them indispensable, and, under 
the high heavens and before the gaping village, 
you wash. 

We started in good time next morning in 
splendid weather, and with our coolies as fresh 
as if nothing particular had happened on the 
previous day. About half the town assembled 
to see us off, providing a favourable oppor- 
tunity of studying the various fashions in 
which the children's hair is arranged. In 
some cases the head is closely shaved, but 
more often the hair is fantastically cultivated. 
A favourite style is to shave the head all round 
the crown, leaving that covered with hair 
shaped like a skull cap. Sometimes all is 
shaved save a few locks over the forehead. 
Another rather fetching design is to leave a 
couple^ of well-defined locks over either ear, 
just enough to hold the child up by if that 
were deemed a desirable disciplinary process. 
The children are disgustingly dirty, the even- 
ing .bath which forms a daily habit with their 
parents apparently never being open for them. 

Our drive to-day was through a country 
beautiful beyond description. The mountain 
range of Nikko, a grey shadow on the horizon 
when we left Kumagai, was now almost within 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


reach. We neared it, passing always through 
this solemn avenue of cryptomeria, with 
people busy in the fields on either side, 
gathering in the bountiful rioe harvest. Very 
few horses were met with, and these were 
chiefly engaged in drawing loads of bamboo. 
Bundles of the thick end of the cane are laid 
upon either side of the pack-saddle, the thin 
ends trailing on the ground far in the rear. 
Like the cooUes, the horses are shod with 
straw sandals. Of these the consumption 
must be enormous, since they do not last 
more than a day or at best two days. When 
new they cost a penny a pair, and all the 
high-roads of Japan are strewn with castaways. 

We met scores of men dragging incredible 
burdens in long handcarts. They harness 
themselves to a rope tied to the axle, the cart 
is tilted back, and with the rope on shoulder, 
and body bent forward, they go along up 
hill or on level roadway. The women take 
their share in this work as in all others. 
As we descended a hill we met one with a 
baby at her back and a rope across her chest 
manfully tugging at a cart with her husband 
in the shafts. 

Nikko struggles for over a mile up the hill, 
at the top of which is the tomb of the first and 
the third, mightiest among the Shoguns. The 

Digitized by 



tea-house where we stopped is at the top of 
the village. It was of better style than any 
we had sojourned in, and it was charged for 
accordingly. The natural consequence of the 
more widely known attractions of Japan is 
discovered in the gradual rise in prices. So 
recently as two years back seventy-five sen, 
equal to about three shillings, was the usual 
price for a day's sojourn in a Japanese tea- 
house, and for this the foreigner was entitled 
to board. For the same accommodation, 
though less ample in respect of sleeping 
accommodation, the Japanese pay even now 
eighteenpence a head. Our party was charged 
at the rate of five shillings a head at Nikko, 
which, seeing that we took nothing in the way 
of board except a little rice and a few eggs, 
was not cheap as compared with the twelve 
shillings a day, wine included, which we paid 
at the Grand Hotel at Yokohama. Still the 
rooms were very pretty and scrupulously clean. 
"We had a suite of three, making the centre 
one our dining-room. From the balcony 
outside there was a splendid view of the hills 
of Nikko. 

The larger pretensions of the house were 
shown, amongst other things, in the bath- 
room, which stood by itself in a range of 
buildings flanking the courtyard. This little 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


house came near to being the scene of a 
tragedy, which is recorded here as a warning 
to travellers. Coming back from an excursion 
to the Chin-zen-ji, the lady of our party went 
to take a bath. A quarter of an hour later 
she was discovered, partly dressed, lying 
insensible across the threshold of the bath- 
house. These baths are heated with charcoal, 
and in the great majority, which are built in 
the passages of the houses, there is always 
sufficient ventilation to carry away the poi- 
sonous fames. At Nikko, the bath having the 
rare accommodation of a door, the fumes are 
retained within the chamber. The lady, having 
taken her bath, was dressing, when she was 
suddenly overpowered. She had just strength 
to struggle towards the door, against which 
she fell. Fortunately the door opened out- 
wards, and she got her head in the passage. 
Had the door opened from the inside there 
could have been only one result from an 
accident which in all probability would not 
have been discovered for half an hour. 

"We had bought a pheasant on the road, 
paying as much as one and eightpence for 
it ; dear, Ito admitted, but the season had 
only just commenced. It was small, but fall 
of flavour, and proved a great addition to 
our funeral tinned-meats. At daybreak I 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


was awakened by an unmistakable British 
voice crying aloud for a towel. Looking out 
at the courtyard, I saw a gentleman whom we 
had passed on the road standing bare-footed 
and dripping wet by a bucket of water in 
which he had been washing. He had only 
at this critical moment discovered that the 
Japanese do not regard the towel as an 
absolutely necessary appanage to a toilet set. 

** Towel I " roared the wet and angry 
Briton to the trembling Japanese who stood 
there ready and willing to go anywhere and do 
anything, if he only knew what. 

"Heich?" the Japanese said, aimlessly 
hovering about. 

" Tow-el 1 tow-EL ! '' the Britisher roared, 
trying aU possible forms of accentuation in the 
hope that one might strike a chord of inteUi- 
gence in the mind of this ineflfably stupid man. 

The Japanese evidently began to think 
that whatever might be wanted, it would be 
safer for him to go and look for it inside, and 
not to be in a hurry coming back. 

" Tow-el 1 " the EngUshman roared again. 

" Heich I " said the Japanese, and ran 
nimbly into the house. 

But he did not come back again, and the 
Englishman, after stamping round, disappeared 
in his own room, partially dried in the wind. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


I learnt from him later that he had had a 
good deal of trouble from this unpardonable 
and unaccountable ignorance of the EngKsh 
language among Japanese in the interior. 
He had walked for fifty miles through glorious 
scenery, heading for Nikko- The only word 
he could pronounce in the Japanese tongue 
was " Nikko," and by dint of repeating this he 
got along moderately well. His main difl&culty 
was in the matter of food. He lived chiefly 
on rice and tea, and had arrived at the tea- 
house on the previous night haK-famished. 

I fancy that in the best of circumstances 
he was naturally of an irascible temperament. 
But, after living on rice and tea for two days, 
to reach Nikko and find no towel after he had 
trustfully washed himself was, he admitted, 
more than he could bear without protest. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 




The famous shrines of Nikko lie outside the 
town, at the foot of the hills on the other side 
of the bustling river Daiyd-Gawa. The town 
itself was not bom yesterday, but the temples 
and tombs count their years by centuries- 
There is record of a Buddhist temple here in 
the middle of the eighth century. The im- 
portance of Nikko dates from the seventeenth, 
when lyeyasu, the founder of the mighty race 
of Tycoons who for 250 years held imperial 
sway in Japan, was buried here. The first 
Tycoon — or Shogun, as he was earlier called — 
was deified, and religion was called in to aid 
courtier ship in making Nikko a holy place. 
The vassals of the reigning Shogun vied with 
each other in the magnificence of the presents 
with which they endowed the tomb of the 
founder of the race. A prince of the Imperial 
blood became Abbot of Nikko, and through 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


the year solemn processions were made to the 

In 1868, when the revolution broke the 
power of the Shoguns, there was a Prince- 
Abbot of the Mikado's family at the head of 
the monastery. The Shogan party played 
their last card when they seized him, carried 
him off to the North, and proclaimed him 
Mikado. Victory still clung to the banners of 
the reigning Mikado. The young pretender 
surrendered, the power of the Tycoon was 
irretrievably broken, and with his fall much of 
the glory of Nikko has departed. 

There are two bridges across the river lead^p 
ing to the temples and the tombs. One is 
painted a bright red, of the glaring colour in 
which the temples flame forth. It was built 
in the year 1638, and it is boasted that since 
then the cost of repairs has been merely 
nominal. This is the less marvel since the 
bridge is very rarely used, being opened only 
once or twice. a year for pilgrim processions^ 
and for the rest being close barred. A little 
lower down the stream is the more ordinary- 
looking and much more useful structure over 
which traffic passes without restriction. 
Crossing this, turning to the left and walking 
up the bank lined on either side with cedars, 
we come upon a temple, the name of which 

VOL. I. 17 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


being translated is "the Hall of the Three 

Buddhas." These three /Buddhas are the 

Thousand - Handed Kwan - non, the Horse - 

headed Kwan-non, and Amida Nio-Rai. The 

title of the Thousand-Handed Kwan-non is 

rather boldly assigned, since the great gilt doll 

that bears the name has only forty arms — 

quite enough, it is true, but it is well to be 

exact, and a good deal happens between forty 

and a thousand. 

On the matting before these images copper 
coins were sprinkled, the gifts of the faithful. 
They were minute in value, being almost 
exclusively rin^ ten of which go to make a 
halfpenny. Some had placed their offerings 
in paper, a mark both of deeper respect and 
greater affluence, as seldom less than five rin 
were placed in the packets, and occasionally 
the contents ran as high as ten. The money- 
box forms a prominent feature in all the 
temples. There is none here approaching the 
proportions of the vast gridiron into which rin 
are rained at Asakusa on the fete day of the 
God of Happiness. But each shrine has its 
money-box outside, while single gifts in coin 
may, without incurring reproach, be strewed 
on matting before the god whom it is desired 
to propitiate. 

In truth the hat goes round with great per- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


sistence in the temples of Japan, whether 
Buddhist or Shinto. On approaching nearly 
every one of these sacred halls, wherever 
situated, the visitor will note a hoarding, 
sometimes two or three, erected upon upright 
wooden posts, and covered with writing, just 
like the advertisements in railway stations or 
on hoarding before unfinished buildings. 
These boards are truly advertisements, but 
have about them nothing relating to the 
modem bill-poster. Each strip of wood con- 
tains a record of the name of a donor to the 
building or sustentation fund in connection 
with the temple, together with the amount 
presented. I was not able to learn where this 
clever device was first essayed; but it has 
proved highly successful and is now common 
in all the temples. Any man at the expendi- 
ture of a few yen may have his name thus set 
up on high in holy places. 

Before the Hall of the Three Buddhas is a 
curious sun-dial, consisting of an upright post. 
From the shadow cast on the ground the time 
is ascertained and the great bell struck. This 
most musical instrument stands on a mound a 
little to the right of the temple. As the hours 
come round a man mounts up to the bell, and 
with the whole weight of his body pulls back 
a wooden ram slung at right angles with the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


bell. This being released falls back and 
strikes the bronze casting, and through the 
valleys, up the hiUs and across the little town 
of Nikko, there floats a note of exquisite 

At the back of the temple is a black pillar 
crowned with a series of six gilded cups in the 
form of lotus flowers. This grim copper 
column is erected to celebrate the memorable 
feat of an early bishop of the Buddhist 
Church, who in honour of the first Shogun 
read at a single stretch the ten thousand books 
of Buddha. This feat occupied him seven 
days, during which neither meat nor drink 
passed his lips, only the names of Buddha. 
By the side of this well-authenticated feat Mr. 
Biggar's famous effort, when in the House of 
Commons he through four hours read Blue 
Books to the Speaker and the clerks at the 
table, becomes of small account. Zigendaishi 
was the name of this hero, in whose too-early 
birth Mr. Parnell lost the opportunity of 
securing a notable follower. 

Behind this temple is a smaller one, on the 
pillars of which are pasted numerous slips of 
paper containing the names and addresses of 
pilgrims who have wended their way hither 
from all parts of the Empire. The way to the 
tomb of the first Shogun leads up a broad 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Stone stairway, with ancient cryptomeria tower- 
ing on either side. These steps are called 
*' the steps of a thousand measures," because 
there are ten of them, and on each a hundred 
men may stand* At the top is the granite 
toriiy or archway, presented to the temple by 
one of the princes who helped to establish the 
power of the first Shogun. The height of the 
arch is a little over twenty-seven feet, and 
the diameter of the columns is three feet six 
inches. The stone which forms the gateway 
at the top is composed of a single block of 
granite. How it was brought here from the 
distant quarries where it was delved is an 
unexplained marvel. Our local guide told us 
that when the torii was being erected the 
workmen stood upon piles of bags of rice 
which finally reached within three feet of the 
summit. When the work was finished the 
bags were cut open, and the poor people of 
Nikko spent a pleasant time. 

Passing under the torii into the courtyard, 
we come upon a lofty pagoda of blazing red 
and a quieter but more interesting memorial 
in the shape of an old tree carefully guarded 
with a gray stone paling. This we learned 
was the identical tree which, when it was not 
too large to go into a pot, the first Shogun 
carried about with him when he went on 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


journeys. Coming out of one of the temples 
we passed a small chapel in which passively 
sat a figure dressed in white robes. I took 
it to be a priest, but the guide said it was a 
woman, and if I put some money in the ever- 
open box she would dance. We deposited 
coin, a few halfpence, and the figure promptly 
rising at the chink of money went through a 
melancholy kind of dance, accompanied by 
the shaking of bells which she held in her 
hand. It was over in a few seconds, the 
conclusion being announced by the priestess 
bowing till she touched the ground with her 
forehead, and then resuming her passive atti- 
tude, waiting till some one else came by with 
a few coppers to spare. 

It is behind these temples, reached through 
a beautiful approach of gray stone steps, 
with moss-grown walls, the sunlight peeping 
through the trees beyond, that the tomb of 
the great Shoguns lie. Here, remote from 
human life, sleeps the great soldier lyeyasu 
and his greater grandson lyemitsu, the one 
the founder, the other the consolidator of the 
mighty line of Shoguns. Their moss-grown 
graveyards are girt about with solemn cedars, 
and the only sound that breaks the stillness of 
the place is the sighing of the wind through 
the branches. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


The tombs axe impressive by reason of 
their simpKcity; but I confess that the red 
temples with their gilt and gingerbread gods 
had nothing to say to me. There is some 
wonderful carving, but it is whitewashed and 
painted tiU the patient art of the carver is 
piteously obscured. Supposing the outside of 
Westminster Abbey were painted a bright red 
and some of its choicest carvings in the 
interior were picked out with blue and ver- 
milion, what a glory would be departed from 
the nation ! Yet it is thus that at Nikko the 
Japanese have dealt with what they are 
disposed to regard as their best shrines. 

During the heyday of the power of the 
Shoguns the paint was laid on afresh once in 
twenty years. Now that the power is broken, 
and it is not the policy of the present Govern- 
ment to keep its memory green, there is hope 
of the shrines of Nikko improving as the 
gaudy colours fade and the paint is rubbed 
off the carvings. 

In the afternoon we walked to the falls of 
Kiri-furi, taking a wide sweep round the base 
of To-Yama. It is in turning from the temples 
in Nikko, and looking for a moment on the 
works of nature spread around, that one feels 
most angrily impressed with the vulgarity of 
the painted structures. Just now Nature is. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


putting on her richest colours, some brighter 
than any which variegate the temples. The 
maple and mountain ash flame blood-red 
through the woodland, and the birch is run- 
ning through all the tints of yellow. The sky 
is the brightest blue, the river rushing down 
to the sea is a foaming white ; yet all these 
colours blend in exquisite harmony and com- 
pose a scene to which one is glad to turn 
from the pinchbeck grandeur of the pagan 

The walk to Kiri-furi is not far, even for 
a lady, and the kago^ or basket chair, which 
we took with us was scarcely used* The path- 
way turns and winds through scenes of ever- 
varying beauty till suddenly we come upon 
the waterfall, a gleam of white foam falling 
through a bank of autumn foliage. Eegarded 
as a waterfall it is not much, but its setting 
makes it exquisite. 

The walk to Chinzenji is a somewhat dif- 
ferent affair, it being a good sixteen miles 
there and back, with some stiff climbing before 
the mountain lake is reached. The weather 
looked very doubtful, but we determined to 
start, doubt being presently solved by the 
commencement of a downpour of rain which 
practically lasted through the day. We had a 
hago and four men, an indispensable escort for a 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


lady on this trip. On the outskirts of a little 
village near Nikko we had the good fortune 
to purchase two waterproofs, made of oiled 
paper, a beautiful yellow in hue. They were 
a little lacking in fit, but not much can be 
expected for half a crown, the price of the 
two. They prove invaluable during the 
journey, resisting the persistent rain, and 
adding but two or three ounces to the weight 
of the walking costume. 

The way to the lake leads by the winding 
path which the river has won for itself on its 
way from the lake through the mountains. 
Many times we crossed the river by rustic 
bridges, pausing to look down at the steel 
blue water gliding over gigantic stones and 
dashing itself in foam at their feet. HaK- 
way up is a farm-house. On the lintel of the 
dwelling were pasted three charms, one for 
keeping away general sickness, the second 
specially concerned with fever, and the third 
warranted to bring general happiness to the 
proprietor. The charm against fever repre- 
sented a devil in a highly dislocated state, 
this peculiarity being due not to intention so to 
represent him, but to the fact that the picture 
is produced by drawing a brush dipped in 
black paint over a stamped metal pattern. 

**Very stupid," Ito said, looking at this 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


with the clear eyes of a believer in the Shinto 
faith. ** Only very old womens and men 
believe in that." 

Observations subsequently made over a 
wide extent of the interior convinced me that 
in such case "old womens and men" must 
form the largest proportion of the agricultural 
population of Japan. These charms were the 
rule rather than the exception. 

Chinzenji is one of the most famous show 
places in Japan, attracting natives as well as 
foreigners. It was curious to note that the 
Japan 'Arry has the same passion as his 
brother from London for carving his imperish- 
able name on memorial trees and stones. 
Only to the uninformed eye 'Arry's name 
traced in Japanese characters has a respect- 
able, even an imposing appearance. 

The last hour's climbing up to the level of 
the lake tests the strength of wind and limb ; 
but the four kaga men, bearing their burden 
lightly, stepped it, murmuring a monotonous 
chant which, though not musical, helped them 
to keep step and in other more occult ways 
seemed to do them good. There is a splendid 
view of the lake from the tea-house, and a 
really big waterfall on the way back. We saw 
little but the rain, one gleam of sunshine 
fortuitously opening at a turn in the steep 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


descent showing what it might be in other 
circumstances of weather. As it was, it was 
well worth doing. We saw it in the green 
leaf, and cheerfully resolved to imagine what 
it would be in the dry. 

After dinner we had the accustomed visit 
from the curio men, made the more exigent 
on their part by the knowledge that this was 
our last night in Nikko, and if we did not now 
buy a few carved ivories, a sword or two, an 
armful of lacquer boxes, and, above all, that 
exquisite little cabinet, inlaid, lacquered, and 
ivory-mounted, really not dear at £20, they 
would have no other chance. The curio men 
are one of the institutions of foreign travel in 
Japan. They live in the places principally 
resorted to by Europeans, and take note of 
every fresh arrival. On the afternoon of the 
Mikado's birthday, when we lunched at the 
British Embassy at Tokio, the drawing-room 
was crowded with curio men who had heard 
there were guests, and scented business from 
afar. They entered the house uninvited, but 
not unwelcome, for there are worse ways of 
spending an hour in the afternoon than in 
examining the varied stores of a Japanese 
pedler. They fully recognize the justice of the 
understanding that since no one asked them 
to come there is no compulsion of buying, and 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


they also know by experience that in thd 
course of the season they get through a deal 
of trade. 

At Mikko the curio men hunt in triplets. 
The panel of sitting-room or bedroom noise- 
lessly draws back. A figure in Japanese cos- 
tume gUdes in, bowing low and making that 
curious noise of sucking in the breath which 
with the Japanese is meant to be at once self- 
depreciatory and exaltatory of the presence in 
which he stands. The first figure having 
deposited a bundle on the floor, a second 
gUdes in, and after due interval a third. A 
timid stranger, unaware of the custom, and 
recalling earlier habits of the Japanese in 
presence of the foreigner, might well suppose 
his last hour had come, and that these softly- 
treading, darkly-clad, mysterious personages 
with bundles were his executioners. 

It is a matter of honour among curio men, 
and in accordance with the polite habits of the 
people, that one man shall not interfere with 
another's prospects by unduly thrusting his 
wares under notice. While ostensibly observ- 
ing this rule one of the three curio men of 
Nikko, a tall, crafty-looking man, who always 
secured the central place of the group, had a 
notable way of pushing his goods. While you 
were looking at something submitted by No. 1 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


or No. 2, a brown hand, holding a piece of 
carved ivory or a lacquered box, would slowly 
move across the table, placing the article 
under the eyes of the purchaser. A violent 
sucking in of breath followed, and then a low 
voice solemnly intoning — 

" Ver-ry old ; ver-ry cheap ; num-ber one." 

If you asked the price, the prefatory form 
of answer was always the same. Drawing 
himself up to full height, and holding up 
both hands, with fingers outstretched to assist 
in the enumeration, he began slowly and 
solemnly to intone — 

"Wa-an price — ve-ry old — num-ber one 
— ^ve-ry cheap " — (fingers beginning to work 
like a semaphore)— 'Hwenty-four yen" — (pro- 
longed gust of indrawn breath) — ** shifty sen." 

'^ Shifty" was as near as he could get to 
the pronunciation of fifty, having just sucked 
in half the cubic measurement of air in the 
room. The *' wa-an price " was meant to 
indicate that, whereas other curio men, know- 
ing the habit of foreigners promptly to offer 
half the price first named, stuck it on with 
deliberate intention to take it off if pressed, 
this paragon of perfection, this inexorably just 
dealer, had merely added a small commission 
on the amount of his original purchase, and 
was not to be beaten down. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 




We left Nikko at eight o'clock in the morn- 
ing, our cavalcade as nsual the centre of 
a dumbly staring throng comprising one-third 
of the population of the village. As we 
dashed down the uneven street with a stream 
of fresh water running in the middle, another 
third of the population, chiefly women, were 
kneeUng on either side, washing pots, pans, 
kettles, dishes, everything but the children. 
These last were running about, hideous in 
their dirt, yet withal plump and well made. 

In those reforms which the wise and far- 
seeing statesmen who now rule Japan are 
pressing forward, it should not be difficult to 
introduce one on behalf of the children who 
swarm in the streets of country hamlets. 
When Mr. Ito (not our guide, but the Minister 
of State) recently made his journey to Nikko 
his quick eye noticed the condition of the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


roads, and his practical hand promptly plucked 
at the root of the evil. He must have seen 
something worse in the pitiable state of the 
children, which varies only in degree of dirt 
and consequent disease whatever road be 
taken through the interior. The Japanese 
Government, with all its newly grafted 
Western ideas, is essentially paternal. It 
should not be difficult to make and enforce a 
few simple sanitary rules on behalf of the 
children. Their mothers and fathers could 
not take it unkindly, since they are scrupulously 
clean about their own persons, and would 
rather go without their evening meal than 
their evening bath. 

At the end of the long street which is Nikko 
stretches a shady avenue of cryptomeria, with 
the sunlight gleaming at the far end. In hot 
summer weather this must be a grateful place 
for the dusty traveller, like '^ the shadow of a 
great rock in a weary land." In November 
the mornings are like those in late spring in 
England, and almost as leafy, though the trees 
have taken on autumn tintsi In addition the 
chrysanthemum is blooming in every garden, 
and often by the wayside. The rice harvest 
is in full swing, and close by the brown wet 
earth whence the crop has been cut there are 
long furrows in which bright green shoots of 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


some other crop boldly stand up. So fruitful 
is the soil of Japan when skilfully treated, and 
so kind the weather, that in many places two 
crops are garnered in every year. 

I read a good deal about Japan before 
starting to visit the country, and it is with 
ever-increasing astonishment I recall the fact 
that from no book did I get the impression 
that Japan is a country beautiful to look upon. 
Yet it is ♦surprisingly fair in all the varieties 
of hill and dale, fruitful plain, and water 

We stopped at Osawa for tiffin, Ito pro- 
viding for us in the accustomed civilized, 
bountiful style, whilst the men who had run 
twenty miles since morning contentedly ate 
their eggs and rice, deftly fishing the latter out 
of bowls with their chopsticks. Across the 
beam of the tea-house were pasted sheaves 
of little bits of paper, being the introductions 
of travellers who have stayed there. These 
letters of introduction form a connecting 
link between series of tea-houses throughout 
the country. One landlord passes his guests 
on to a friend at the next stage, as he has 
guests recommended to him from the pre- 
ceding halting-place. The abundance of these 
scraps of paper testifies to the popularity of 
the tea-house. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


At Osawa we were introduced to a fowl of 
great and peculiar beauty, though not unknown 
to poultry shows in England. He was of 
perfect shape, of bantam size, and his mani- 
fold feathers were turned the wrong way. As 
he strutted about, conscious of the important 
part he was playing in maintaining the prestige 
of Japan, the tip of his tail feathers tickled 
his comb with a persistency maddening to a 
bird inspired with l^ss lofty purpose. Ito 
was much interested in this phenomenon, and 
wondered how it was brought about. At 
Nikko there is a temple where a portion of 
the elaborate carved work on a pillar is turned 
the wrong side up, with intent to defeat the 
malign purpose of evil spirits. It is believed 
that if the temple were finally completed, the 
demons, envious of its perfection, would 
destroy it. Therefore a few inches of the 
carving is turned the wrong way to show that 
the building 'Ms not finished." Kemembering 
this, I suggested that the bird's feathers were 
turned the wrong way to show that it was not 

" I don't think it's that," Ito said, though 
there was no tone of strong conviction in the 

Poultry is the one live stock in which 
Japan may glory. The horses are miserable ; 

VOL. I. 18 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


the cattle — ^what there is of them — are stunted 
and ill-fed ; the dogs are the veriest curs, not 
worth the trouble of tying round their necks 
the little wooden labels on which are written 
the names and addresses of their owners. But 
poultry are abundant. They take kindly to 
their food, and though not particularly good 
when brought to table, yield large returns in 
the way of eggs. 

More rice fields on both sides of the road all 
the way to Omaya, men, women, and children 
busy in the fields, and the old men and women 
at home spreading out the rice on the drying 
mats. We passed a little mite, certainly not 
more than four years old, trotting along the 
road bravely carrying a big teapot in front, 
balanced by a baby strapped on her back. 
Placed in the scales, baby and teapot would 
have made the little woman in the other 
scale kick the beam ; but having them once 
fixed on, and being set going, she trotted 
along, dressed in clothes exactly like her 
mother's, cut short to her size. 

We reached Omaya just before dusk, com- 
pleting forty-six miles in the day, and having 
done one spurt of fourteen miles in an hour 
and three-quarters. Ito does not think much 
of this. We have each two coolies, whilst he 
has done fifty-five miles in a day with a single 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


man. Moreover, there are three men in Tokio 
who can do seventy miles in a day, and one, 
a prince among his fellows, who does this 
distance within twelve hours. 

Whilst dinner was being made ready I 
wandered about the roomy kitchen of the tea- 
house, and held a good deal of conversation 
with its inmates, scarcely any the less in- 
teresting because neither understood the other. 
The Japanese are such a good-tempered, 
merry race that it is a pleasure to talk with 
them, even when nothing comes of it. The 
ground floor of the tea-house, open to the 
street — silent save for the voice of the blind 
shampooer calling for custom — formed a strik- 
ing picture. Outside, after the manner of the 
old English iim, there swung a sign-board 
covered with cabalistic signs, whose meaning 
was plain enough to the way-worn native 
traveller. There was no door, porch, or 
entrance hall. The front of the house had 
simply been taken down or pushed back, dis- 
closing a long, low interior, its recesses and 
unexpected nooks dimly lighted with oil lamps 
and here and there a Chinese lantern. 

From the thick and blackened beams of the 
ceiling hung sheaves of letters of recommen- 
dation, mementos of vanished travellers. The 
room on the left, by day a passage and by night 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

276 BAST BY WES1V : 

a bedroom, had, all to itself, an oblong lantern 
eight feet long, famished with farthing-candle 
power, but diffusing a wonderful soft light. 
It was well it was not too brilliant, for a little 
further on, in a recess, leading out of the main 
passage, was the bath-room with four men 
naked and not ashamed. On the right, a few 
steps along the raised matted floor, which 
no boot or shoe has ever pressed, was a 
broad flight of eight steps, leading to the only 
upper story. Little waiting maidens, always 
chattering and laughing, were running up and 
down serving the dinner of the native guests. 

The kitchen ran the full length of the 
house, behind the staircase. It was fuU of 
twinkling lights, amid which moved dusky 
figures bent on domestic duty. On the right, 
behind a charcoal stove with many openings 
for pots and pans, stood the Japanese cook 
in the flush of evening work. A little lower 
down, kneeling over a modest hibaichi, was 
Ito cooking our dinner. The glow of the 
fire reflected on his face, brought out the super- 
natural gravity with which he tested the 
savoriness of the mullagatawny. 

In a dark shadow, in a part of the kitchen 
nearest the street, squatted an old gentleman, 
with head closely shaven save for a love Jock 
over his left ear. He was making tea by a fixQ 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


sunk in the floor — only making believe to 
brew tea, I suspect, his principal interest 
being to retain a snug place by the fire. As 
he spread his skinny hands over the glowing 
charcoal and felt the fire, the expression of his 
face resolved itself into a fixed mild smile, 
that began on his thin lips, illuminated his 
bare, brown face, and shone with subdued 
lustre over his shiny, shaven head. 

Our bedroom, which served also the pur- 
pose of dining-room, was neat and clean* 
Over one wall was a large scroll with writing 
on it. I thought this was what is known in 
Japanese house-furnishing as " a poem." 
But Ito explained that it was an injunction to 

*' If you drink," Ito literally translated it^ 
" you will miss your hairs," a poetical fancy 
which seems to require some thinking over 
as a preliminary to comprehension. 

We started from Omaya to catch the 
steamer at Koga, our men trotting merrily 
along as if they had been resting through 
the earlier days of the week. It was again 
a bright English May morning, so clear that 
among the clouds in the horizon to the left 
we could distinguish the white cap of Fuji. 
We had a desperate rush to catch the 
steamer, and would have failed but for a 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


strategic movement on the part of Ito. Taking 
on a fresh coolie, he went in advance, and 
reached the pier just as the little steamer 
had got into the middle of the stream, and 
was heading for Tokio. In obedience to Ito's 
signals the steamer obligingly put back and 
awaited our arrival. It also waited till Ito 
had concluded a purchase of crockery, for we 
were to lunch on board, and plates are not 
included in the odd property of a river 

It* was a curious little craft, with paddle- 
wheels, and a hurricane deck on which pas- 
sengers stepped from shore, and whence in 
reaching the cabin they made a perilous 
descent on to the bulwarks. Captain, officers, 
engineer, and crew, about seven all told, were 
in a condition of wild excitement on discover- 
ing the nationality of their passengers. As 
far as they were concerned, Ito might have 
lingered to buy up all the plates in Koga so 
long as they were permitted to revel among our 
belongings. Our coats, our dress, our pipes, 
and our boots were in turn the object of their 
curious regard. But the great object of in- 
terest was a pair of air-cushions, which, by 
the way, persons about to make a journey in 
jinrikisha should never be without. These 
puzzled them beyond measm'e, till the captain 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


observing the brass nozzle, ventured to blow 
into it. To see it gradually inflate filled them 
with unalloyed delight. The first mate (who 
had apparently been having his watch below, 
and, called up by a sudden alarm, had forgotten 
to put on his trousers) seized upon the second 
cushion and blew into it till I was obliged to 
take it from him. Another blast and it would 
have burst. 

All this time the crowd on the beach had 
been gathering, including a large contingent 
of two-headed children. There was some fear 
that we should never get away ; but Ito 
having come aboard, and a deputation of two 
jinrikisha men having come down to bow 
their acknowledgments of a little present 
made in recognition of their manful work, the 
engineer, who had not been able to get hold 
of one of the air-cushions, spitefully blew his 
whistle, ropes were cast off, and we moved 
out into the eddying yellow stream of the 

We passed onward through a level and 
sparsely populated country. The banks were 
flanked with willow trees, and now and then, 
from under their overhanging shadow, we dis- 
turbed a flock of wild ducks. We steamed 
past several junks floating with the current, 
and by many men fishing out of punts. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Our young gentleman from Glasgow was at 
this stage of the journey the most interesting 
feature in the landscape* Seated on the deck, 
his boots, at any time an appreciable object on 
a square acre of ground, came into full and 
prominent view. They were shooting boots, 
made to his order, with exaggerated soles 
spreading beyond the uppers and the tops 
lacing well above his ankles. The bare-footed 
Japanese crew regarded these monstrosities 
first with awe, then with an overmastering 
curiosity that brought them, at whatever risk, 
to group themselves on the deck around the 

I suppose some one was steering the steamer, 
and I could see the anxious engineer with his 
body thrust upward through the circular hole 
that gave ingress to the engine-room; but 
I declare there was no look-out, every other 
man of the crew from the captain downward 
being seated round the young gentleman from 
Glasgow, examining his pipe, feeling the tex- 
ture of his Scotch tweed, running their fingers 
over his ribbed stockings, or glancing sideways 
at his boots. He, on his part, freely entered 
into conversation with them, having great 
faith in the English language when slightly 
improved by use in Glasgow. Moreover, he 
had a small glossary of Japanese words« 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


With this in his hand he managed to conduct 
a conversation of much length, though of 
doubtful meaning. When in a fix, and having 
slowly repeated syllable by syllable what he 
had to say in the EngUsh tongue, he finally 
put his mouth to the ear of his interlocutor 
and bawled the words over again, as if deafness 
naturally accounted for the difficulty of com- 

At length the united efforts of the captain 
and crew succeeded in making clear that they 
wanted him to take his boots off. One natu- 
rally supposed that the steamer being so 
small they wanted to trim her ; but as they 
left the boots together on the same side of the 
vessel they were probably afraid of the ravages 
of the nails upon their deck. When the ex- 
citement had subsided and the crew returned 
to their posts, I saw the captain heave along- 
side, take up one of the boots, gaze re- 
flectively upon its broad, spike-studded sole, 
put it gently down, and go away. After a few 
more turns he would stop, take up the boot 
again, turn it over in his hand, and replace 
it. In the afternoon, coming on deck after 
luncheon, we caught the first mate (still with- 
out his trousers) in the act of trying on the 

Bight away in the stem of the little 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


steamer, only approachable with infinite peril 
of tumbling overboard, was a minute cabin 
registered for the conveyance of sixteen pas- 
sengers. K the sixteen had been herrings 
they might have been packed in, but it was 
difficult to see how any other kind of passen- 
gers could be so dealt with. Nevertheless, if 
we wanted deliverance from casual passengers, 
we three must pay sixteen fares, which, in 
the end, we did, the total amounting to a little 
less than £3. 

Forward of our cabin, separated from it 
only by sliding panels with glass windows, 
was another cabin. There was no one in it 
when we went on board, but presently it 
began to fill, and long before we reached Tokio 
we had ceased to regret the little extravagance 
in the matter of a private cabin. An hour 
out, we began to pick up passengers. There- 
after they came and went on crowded wharfs 
through miles and miles of country gradually 
increasing in signs of life and labour. The 
steamer did not always stop to be moored at 
the wharf. Out from some little ferry would 
shoot a punt with a solitary passenger on 
board. The steamer slowed but did not take 
the trouble to cast out a rope. When the punt 
got alongside, the passenger, taking off his 
clogs, threw them on board, then jumped on 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


himself. The steamer puffed ahead, and the 
punt soon faded in the distance. 

All the native passengers before touching 
the spotless deck of the steamer took off their 
clogs. One of the crew, or possibly it was 
the purser, handed each a wooden check, a 
corresponding one was tied on the clog, and 
as the passengers departed the clogs were 

At a place called Saki the river divides, and 
the little steamer went through a difficult and 
dangerous passage to reach the branch that 
leads to Tokio. What had frequently been 
threatened occurred, and she ran aground. 
After a desperate struggle she was pushed off 
and safely reached the pier at Saki, where a 
great crowd of passengers awaited her arrival. 
Saki is a busy place, with a considerable 
number of junks and sampans, a double row 
being fastened to the wall. The river junk is 
a Japanese home, and we saw varied domestic 
arrangements going forward in these lying 
quietly moored. Looking at one junk slowly 
making its way into the broad stream, we 
saw two naked bronzed figures under the 
overhanging stern. It seems to be the mari- 
time habit of Saki that when a junk puts out 
two of the crew jump overboard and push her 
from the stem through the shallow water, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


•Virhich not infrequently merges in a mud 

Passengers came on board, squatted on the 
floor of the cabin next to ours, sitting as near 
the hibachi as possible, though the sun was 
streaming hotly down out of a cloudless sky. 
Most of them were smoking, men and women. 
They seemed to pass the time pleasantly 
enough, bowing recognitions or farewells, chat-* 
ting, smoking, and laughing. At five o'clock 
we turned into the canal and made our way 
through a densely populated quarter of this 
suburb of Tokio. The canal, which lay almost 
due west, was the pathway of the setting 
sun and was ablaze with splendour in the 
borrowed rays. 

The town itself was not without interest 
seen from this new approach. But the cap- 
tain, through Ito, earnestly besought us not 
to remain on deck. It seems the little boys 
of Tokio have discovered that it is very 
hard to catch them after they have thrown 
stones at the steamer as it makes its way 
through the canal. Accordingly, with the 
pleasant humour peculiar to little street boys 
in all parts of the world, they stone the 
steamer, not without result, as some broken 
windows in the cabin testify. But we did not 
remain below long. It was worth risking 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


something to pass through this busy hive of 
life, with the Chinese lanterns beginning to 
glint amid the growing dusk, and all the 
glory of the setting sun crowning the head 
of Fuji. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 




We reached Tokio in time for dinner, after 
having in six days travelled two hundred and 
fifty miles by a circuitous route. It may be 
useful to know that the journey cost us, a party 
of three, a trifle over JE36, or &2 each per day. 
On arriving at the hotel we remarked that Ito 
was coming along with our baggage. The 
mention of our guide's name had a remarkable 
effect upon the landlord. His face lighted up 
with joyous recognition. 

" Ito ! " he explained. '* Ito great friend of 
mine. His house burned down last night; 
everyting lost ; his mudder burned out." 

It is a long time since I have seen a man in 
such a state of exultation. That he should by 
good luck be the very first to tell Ito this great 
news, after a sojourn of six days out of the 
reach of letters or newspapers 1 Ito might 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


have gone straight home to Yokohama, and 
then some one else would have told him. 
Whilst I was wondering how I could keep 
this really amiahle man from Ito, or at least 
induce him to break the news gently, the guide 
himself appeared. The landlord made a dash 
at him, and seizing him by the hand as if 
to congratulate him on some momentously 
happy event, he cried — 

*' Ito, your house burned down last night ; 
I got telegram." 

Ito was evidently stunned at the blow thus 
ruthlessly dealt. It was only yesterday he 
had been telling me how he had bought the 
house just two months ago, and set his 
** mudder " and sister up in it. Now it was 
gone ; and Japanese houses are never insured, 
for the sufficient reason that no insurance 
company will grant policies. 

''Well," he said, after a pause, during 
which the landlord had been eagerly scanniug 
his face, " it can't be helped." 

This was disappointing. But the land- 
lord had other shots in his locker. 

*' Everyting burnt up," he cried. 

*' WeU," said Ito, with a brave little snule, 
*'it can't be helped." 

Things were looking hopeless. Now was 
the time to bring up all reserves. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


^* And yonr mudder burned out ! " he 
roared, greedily devouring Ito's expression 
with his eyes. 

'' Anybody hurt ? " 

^^ No," said the landlord, a little chap- 

*^Well, it can't be helped," said Ito, 
forlornly going back to his formula. 

After this the landlord retired utterly 
routed. Never had he had such a welcome 
home for a traveller, and Ito had taken it all 
as calmly as if it was a match that had been 

The fire was a very serious one to others 
besides Ito. It began about eleven o'clock at 
night at the top of the Japanese street in 
Yokohama already described. The fire god 
was promptly brought out and placed between 
the boundary of the fire and the houses yet 
untouched. But the flames laughed him to 
pcom, would even have burned him too, had 
he not from time to time been moved higher 
up to establish a fresh boundary. Water was 
scarcely of any more avail. Japanese houses 
are made of wood and paper, the materials in 
ordinary use in Western lands for kindhng a 
fire. Once aflame the fire goes as far as the 
wind will carry it, and by one o'clock in the 
morning four hundred and sixty houses were 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


biimed to the ground, and their inmatea 

I saw a letter written by a native clerk 
engaged in one of the European houses. It is 
a gem of epistolary correspondence. It ran 
thus: — 

" November 7, 1883. 

" My Deab Talbot, 

" Deab Sib, — ^Will you please give me 
a only one day Holddy — becouse I am very 
sorry my house set in fire at this early morn- 
ing therefore I most look after my family 
and Co* 

" YouB UP STAiB Boy." 

We had arranged to go to the theatre in 
the evening, but in view of Ito's affliction, I 
suggested that the visit should be postponed. 
Ito, however, with the philosophy that had 
actuated him on first hearing the news 
declined to be let off. 

^*I can't do no good now," he said. "It 
will be all the same if I go down to Yokohama 
by the last train." 

So it was settled, to my permanent satis- 
faction, for it happened that on this particular 
night we saw the Japanese drama at its best, 
located in a handsome building, presented by 

VOL. I. 19 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


a crack company, and the piece chancing to 
be one of the most characteristio and mdely 

The theatre at Tokio is a new one of 
immense size, and was on the night of our 
visit densely crowded, notwithstanding the 
fact that the prices are, by comparison with 
English theatres, surprisingly high. But then, 
as Ito observed, you can stay all day if you 
like. Theatre-going in Japan is a serious 
social undertaking. The doors open early in 
the morning, and the performance is not over 
till ten o'clock at night. Thus, when the 
Japanese go to the theatre, they literally make 
a day of it. 

There is in connection with the theatre 
at Tokio a tea-house, where refreshments are 
obtainable at reasonable prices. This is with- 
in the building, and people who have once 
obtained entrance are permitted freely to pass 
from the theatre to the tea-room. But there 
must arise occasions when, in the course of 
the day, there comes to persons a desire to 
leave the theatre. The head of the family 
may want to go home to look through his 
correspondence, or to transact an hour's busi- 
ness, by way of foil to the exciting pleasure 
of the drama. In such case a device is 
brought into use worthy the attention of 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


EngKsh theatre managers. Instead of receiv- 
ing a pass-out check, the patron of the drama 
holds out his right hand, and on the wrist 
the attendant stamps a mark, which has the 
advantage of not being transferable. Hence 
there is at the door of the Japanese theatre 
no crowd of boys or men begging for ^^your 
check." All one who has been out has to do 
on returning is to show his wrist, and he is 
passed in. 

Theatre-going being essentially a family 
arrangement places are disposed of accord- 
ingly. There are, of course, no chairs, every 
one squatting on the floor. But in the Tokio 
theatre the auditorium is broken up into some- 
thing like sheep-pens, in which family circles or 
companies of friends squat. Everywhere there 
is the hibachi and the everlasting pipe. Men 
and women fill the minute pipe, thrust it in 
the live ashes of hibachi, take their three 
whiffs, and then knock out the dust, presently 
beginning the process over again. 

On the night of our visit there was a special 
attraction in the nearest approach to a ballet 
permitted by Japanese customs. A body of 
forty-three dancing girls had been engaged, 
and, since dancing on the pubUc stage is an 
innovation in Japan, there was a great rush to 
see it. The girls themselves were handsomely 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


paid, and, by way of compromise with a con- 
sciousness of infringing immemorial custom, 
they handed over their wages to a local 
charity. This is all very well to begin with. 
But there is no doubt the thin end of the 
wedge has been inserted, and within twelve 
months this exceedingly modest approach to 
the ballet will be further pursued. 

The dance itself was to the Western taste 
a melancholy and soul- depressing perform- 
ance. Forty-three damsels, dressed precisely 
as if they had walked off a Japanese tea-tray, 
moved in a single file across the stage and 
adown the gangway running at right angles 
with the stage, and passing through the mass 
of the audience in the pit. This is a peculi- 
arity of the Japanese theatre which is reaUy 
very eflfective. Instead of the actors and 
actresses entering from right or left of the 
stage, or from behind the scenes, they walk 
on to the stage, as it were, out of the pit. 
The green-room, instead of being at the back 
of the stage, is at the front of the house, and 
there are two gangways, one for approach and 
the other for exit. 

Another striking peculiarity, and I venture 
to think an improvement in the Japanese 
stage carpentry, is that the scenes revolve 
upon an aiis, something on the principle of 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


the merry-go-round at the fair. Th6re is no 
dragging of scenes hither and thither by 
heated supers, and no necessity for waits* 
A scene is '* set " by a revolution of the 
machinery which brings not only the scene, 
but the actors, in full view of the audience. 
When the scene is played out there is another 
turn at the crank, scene eighty is ground out 
of sight, and scene eighty-one comes on. In 
cases where an untimely death takes place on 
the stage, and, the scene not being closed, it 
is not desirable altogether to change it, two 
figures draped in black, with black hoods 
over their heads, enter and remove the 
corpse. According to common understand- 
ing these hooded figures are supposed to be 

In Western countries the movements of 
stage machinery are directed from the privacy 
of the side wings. In Japan, on the left- 
hand side of the stage facing the audience, 
there kneels a man with a piece of wood in 
either hand, shaped after the fashion of a 
clog. When a scene is to be changed he raps 
on the floor with the clogs, and the machinery 
moves. His duties are further extended in 
the direction of imitating footsteps. Thus an 
actor entering by one of the gangways already 
described, his approach is heralded by an 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


excellent imitation of running footsteps played 
by the man with the clogs; only there is 
this peculiarity about it, that, reversing the 
ordinary state of affairs, he begins the patter- 
ing of feet in the distance with tremendous 
rapping, which cleverly dies away to the 
slightest tapping as the footsteps approach 
nearer to the stage, and might therefore be 
presumed to be more audible. On the other 
hand, a kettledrum, which forms a prominent 
feature in the orchestra, occasionally, and 
apparently apropos des botteSj begins to be 
beaten with slow tapping, increases at tre- 
mendous speed, until it reaches a deafening 
roar, at which it stops as suddenly and as 
inconsequentially as it began. 

The orchestra is composed partly of instru- 
mentalists and partly of vocalists. Both sit in 
a cage on either side of the stage, the front 
being fenced by a gauzy trellis-work, through 
which the figures are dimly discerned. Whilst 
the drum suddenly goes off in a kind of epileptic 
fit, and a most unmusical thrumming is up- 
raised by manipulation of an instrument called 
the samisen, the vocal orchestra on the other 
side from time to time break forth in most 
monotonous and most melancholy chant. The 
stranger notes that whilst this chanting is 
going forward the actors on the stage interrupt 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


their play, and stand or sit motionless and 
silent. Ito explains that these are the Joruri 
singers, and their duty is to describe to the 
audience what the silent actor or actress is at 
the moment thinking of, to depict the passion 
that tears his breast, or the regrets that sad- 
den it. Thus, if Mr. Irving were playing Shy- 
lock at the Lyceum at Tokio, instead of being 
troubled during the trial scene to express his 
feelings by movement of the facial muscles, 
he would stand quite quiet, whilst the singers 
in the cage would describe to the audience 
that his breast was torn with rage because, 
having expected to cut a pound of flesh from 
the plump person of Antonio, he now dis-r 
covered that, owing to the erudition of 
Portia, the suspicious bearing of the judges, 
and the weight of general circumstances, he 
could enjoy his revenge only at peril of his 
own life. 

The forty-three dancing girls entering by 
the gangway on the right of the stage 
advanced with measured and unvaried move- 
ments. First of all, with right hand uplifted 
above their heads and left hand extended 
downwards and sUghtly outwards, they swayed 
their bodies to the right. Then, with position 
of arms reversed, they swayed to the left. 
Thirdly, they slowly turned round. Fourthly, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


they took three steps forward, then swayed 
to the right, next to the left, and so on da 
cappo. It took ahont forty minutes thus to 
advance hy one long gangway across the stage 
and disappear by the other, always with the 
same motion, with the strumming of the 
samisen from the orchestra, and the inter- 
mittent epilepsy of the drum. After ten 
minutes the performance began to pall on the 
jaded Western palate. But Ito sat with lips 
slightly parted, eyes fixed in admiration too 
deep for speech, and so sat aU the audience 
through the full forty minutes. 

" Beautiful ! " Ito exclaimed, when it was 
over. ** Very nice." 

The last damsel, always swaying to the 
right, then to the left, and slowly turning 
lound, disappeared through the doorway amid 
thunder of applause, and the thread of the 
drama which had been interrupted was 
taken up. 

The play had been going forward through 
the greater part of the day, and when we 
arrived at the theatre, somewhere after eight 
o'clock, it was pretty well advanced. The 
scene opened in front of a pretty tea-house, 
and revealed a Two-Sworded Man, apparently 
on the rampage. He was asking a girl for a 
drink, which she served him with ludicrous 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


contortions indicative of abject fear, which 
convulsed the audience. It should be 
mentioned in further proof of that modesty on 
the stage which makes it a memorable thing 
even for singing girls to appear in the decorous 
dance, that in Japanese theatres all the female 
parts are taken by men. 

The Two- S worded Man had evidently been 
recently engaged in active strife. His un- 
sheathed sword was stained with blood. Whilst 
he drank he held the sword behind him, by 
way of soothing the frighted damsel. * In this 
position he was taken unawares by a sortie of 
guests from the tea-house who, apparently re- 
suming proceedings earlier commenced, rushed 
upon him with sticks, brooms, and other things 
picked up haphazard. But the Two- S worded 
Man, refreshed with the water, proved in- 
vincible. His terrible sword flashed in the air, 
and his vanquished assailants were standing, 
after a brief tussle, quietly with their backs to 
him as if he were going to measure them for a 
coat. He drew the sword slowly but firmly 
across their naked flesh, and they rolled upon 
the stage, the gore freely flowing. 

Two of the assailants fled, but whilst one 
man was being sliced another stood by, and 
when his turn came, presented his back, was 
clashed in the same business-like fashion, and 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


rolled upon the stage with more ehullitions 
of gore greeted with loud applause from the 
gaUery. I could not see by what trick these 
bounteous gouts of blood were made suddenly 
to appear ; but it was very cleverly done. 

In Scene 143— or was it 195 ?— the Two- 
Sworded Man had another encounter with a 
couple of casual passers-by. This was a good 
up-and-down fight, the combatants roUing on 
the ground two to one. But the Two- Sworded 
Man added two more victims to his lengthen- 
ing roll, and drew forth another cheer by wiping 
his dripping sword on the edge of the stone 
bridge by which the fight had taken place. 

Whilst thus engaged a woman appeared on 
the scene ; she uttered a shriek at sight of the 
Two- Sworded Man, and he emitted a fearful 
growl. By this time we were getting used to the 
spirit of the play, and were not at all surprised 
to see the Two- Sworded Man approach the 
woman and slay her. After hacking her till 
she fell to the ground, he placed the sword 
in her mouth, and thrust it so far down her 
throat that in withdrawing it he was compelled 
to put his foot on her chest, and nearly fell 
backward as the sword came out, an effect 
which again brought down the gallery, though, 
if they only knew it, it is as old as the day 
when Lars Porsena marched on Eome, and 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Horatius and his two comrades kept the 

" On Astur's tliroat Horatius 
Eight firmly pressed his heel, 
And thrice and four times tugged amain, 
Ere he wrenched out the steel." 

This done the man with the clogs beat a 
rattUng accompaniment, at which signal two 
hooded figures entered and carried off the now 
embarrassing agglomeration of corpses. 

The next scene is an exceedingly pretty 
one, though as nobody is murdered it falls a 
little flat. The^viUain is discovered standing in 
front of a Japanese house, drawing water from 
a well, such a well as may be seen in any street 
in Japan. He washes his ensanguined sword 
and finally his feet. Whilst thus engaged a 
servant maid comes out and discovers him, 
again going through a pantomime of terror 
which, though, perhaps, a little overdone for 
EngUsh taste, was really very funny. Ito 
explains that the Two- S worded Man, having 
escaped from his enemies (a considerable pro- 
portion of whom must by this time be dead) 
has come on a visit to his imcle and aunt. 
The girl, when she finds her voice, informs 
him that his uncle is out. Presently the old 
gentleman is discovered entering by the gang- 
way. It is a wet night and a dark one, so the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


uncle carries his umbrella, whilst before him 
goes a servant with another umbrella and a 
lantern to light his footsteps. This was a 
pretty scene and a realistic one, the man 
evidently approaching his own house instead 
of accidentally turning up from the side as he 
would have had to do on an English stage. 
As the uncle and his servant cross the gang- 
way clogs patter loud for the distant footsteps, 
falling to a mere tapping as he come& nearer ; 
the drum goes off in a fit, the samisen is 
thrummed, and whilst uncle and nephew stand 
and look at each other the J6ruri singers 
explain their feelings. 

Then the stage revolves, and we discover 
the Two- S worded Man squatted down in the 
middle of the room. To him enter uncle and 
aunt, who squat on either side of him at a 
brief distance. The nephew relates with 
judicious moderation his sanguinary story, 
amid slow music from the caged minstrels on 
right and left, who play and sometimes chant. 
The story is intolerably long, and is varied by 
few interruptions on the part of his listeners. 
Once the aimt interposes with a remark de- 
lightful in its naiveU, 

^' It was very fortimate you did not kill 
yourself, hurting so many other people,'* she 

Digitized by 



The audience, who know all about it, 
having been there since half-past seven in the 
morning, cry ^* True ! " and ** Good ! " 

It is curious that the sympathies of the 
audience are entirely with the Two- S worded 
Man, a circumstance explained by fuller know- 
ledge of the drama. Captain Brinkley, editor 
of the principal English paper in Japan, a 
profound student and an authoritative writer 
on the Japanese drama, subsequently related 
to me the full bearings of this popular play. 
It is the old story of man's love and woman's 
perfidy. The Two-Sworded Man had had 
entrusted to him by his master a precious 
family heirloom ; Delilah had betrayed him, 
had joined a conspiracy to deprive him of his 
treasure, and had imperilled what to the 
honest man was even of more value, his 
character as a faithful servitor. These many 
people he had slain were concerned in the 
plot, and the woman from whose throat he 
had found such difficulty in withdrawing his 
avenging sword was Delilah. 

Now he had come to the house of his 
uncle to tell his melancholy story, and to 
perform the only act left to a dishonoured 
and disgraced Japanese — that of suicide. 
Having completed his narrative, the nephew 
announces his intention to commit hari-kari. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


a duty to his family highly applauded both by 
uncle and aunt, though the aunt, to do her 
justice, shed some tears. Nothing could 
exceed the politeness of the bearing of each 
member of the party towards the other at this 
critical juncture. Before addressing each 
other they bowed till their foreheads almost 
touch the ground, and their words were fall 
of high-flown courtesy. 

I observed that the Two -S worded Man 
was much longer in cutting his own throat 
than he was in despatching other persons. 
But an end must come to aU things, and 
there is an end to his long harangue. The 
aunt spreads upon the floor a white cloth, 
without which no hari-kari can be properly 
conducted. The nephew kneels upon it, the 
aunt and uncle grouping themselves on either 
side, the aunt still audibly in tears. The 
nephew, with a polite gesture, borrows his 
aunt's pocket-handkerchief, which she, with 
much graciousness of manner, hands to him. 
He wraps it midway on the blade of his sword 
and then thrusts the weapon into his stomach, 
working it about to the ecstatic delight of the 
gallery, which reaches a climax when the gore 
rushes forth in unlimited profusion. 

Suddenly there is a sound of drums outside. 
There is a cry, *^ The police are coming ! " 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


The Two-Sworded Man thereupon cuts his 
throat, the stage revolves, and the hapless 
nephew, the didactic uncle, and the tearful 
aunt disappear, with the clogs rapping^ the 
drum madly throbbing, the samisen strum- 
ming, and *the party in the cage on the right 
explaining the feelings of the uncle and aunt ; 
which indeed may be well imagined. 




Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 




Digitized by VjOOQIC 

This hoak should be ] 
the Library on or before the] 
stamped below^* 

A fiiie of five cents a day la| 
by retaining it beyond the 

Please relurn promptly. 


Digitized by